California judge rules Israel's actions in Gaza 'plausibly constitute a genocide'

Jeffrey White, ruling on precedential case made to court by Palestinian human rights groups, says he has no judicial authority to decide on appeal; judge criticizes Biden administration for aiding Israel

California federal judge Jeffrey White ruled on Wednesday that Israel’s ongoing actions in Gaza “plausibly constitute a genocide,” and urged the White House "to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza." Despite his statements, White clarified that he didn’t have the judicial authority to rule on the appeal and therefore dismissed it.
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U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller, addressed the court’s decision, saying, "We believe the allegations genocide are baseless."
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פליטים פלסטינים מתפנים מ חאן יונס רצועת עזה
פליטים פלסטינים מתפנים מ חאן יונס רצועת עזה
Palestinian refugees in Khan Younis
(Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP)
The precedential appeal was filed in November by Palestinian human rights organizations and families of casualties in Gaza, against the Biden administration, claiming it failed to prevent the killing of Palestinians.
The lawsuit asked the court to instruct U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to "take all measures within their power to prevent Israel’s commission of genocidal acts against the Palestinian people of Gaza." and to exert their influence over Israel to "end its bombing, lift the siege on Gaza, and cease providing financial and military aid to Israel."
The judge heard the testimonies last week, including those of family members of Gazans who have been killed since the beginning of the war. Among the testimonies was also that of Laila Elhaddad, a journalist from Maryland, who recounted losing almost 90 members of her extended family in IDF strikes in the Strip.
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נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן נאום בחירות פנסילבניה לרגל 6 בינואר
נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן נאום בחירות פנסילבניה לרגל 6 בינואר
U.S. President Joe Biden
White refused to issue an order and dismissed the case but commented on the appeal, stating that it was "One of the toughest rulings I ever had to make." Additionally, he criticized the U.S. government in his ruling, saying, "There are rare cases in which the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the Court. This is one of those cases.”
The plaintiffs declared that they would continue "to act through all legal means to stop the genocide and save Palestinian lives." According to them, the court "confirmed what the Palestinian population is going through is a course toward the eradication of an entire people. We call on the Biden administration to answer the judge's call to examine and end its deadly course of action."
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