Israel Law Center sues firm for flotilla communications

UK, US based global satellite company Inmarsat is allegedly aiding, abetting terrorism by providing satellite services to Gaza-bound ships.

June 29, 2011 03:14
2 minute read.
A gavel strikes at the issuing of justice

311_gavel. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

In an effort to add to the logistical difficulties of the Free Gaza Flotilla and to try and prevent it from sailing, the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) and New York attorney Isaac Jaroslawicz filed a civil action in the Florida State Court in Miami on Monday against the UK and US based global satellite company Inmarsat, alleging that it is providing essential communications services to ships used by suspected terror organizations in the Gaza flotilla, scheduled to set sail in the coming days.

The suit was filed on behalf of Michelle Fendel, a resident of Sderot, who asserts in her complaint that under US law, Inmarsat and its officers have aided and abetted terrorism by providing satellite services to the Gaza-bound ships and asks that the company cease from providing the services.

According to the lawsuit, Inmarsat and its corporate officers were in violation of US criminal statutes prohibiting the provision of material support for acts of violence and terrorism and the provision of material support for naval expeditions against US allies, and would also be held civilly liable for any damages or harm caused by participants in the flotilla.

“Provision of communications services constitutes ‘material support or resources’ within the meaning of 18 USC (article 2339A). Hamas is a ‘foreign terrorist organization’ as defined in 18 USC (article 2339B). Therefore the provision of satellite communications services by Inmarsat to the Flotilla Ships constitutes a violation of articles 2339A and 2339B,” read the statement of claims.

Before filing the lawsuit, Fendel’s attorneys sent Inmarsat a warning letter demanding that it discontinue all satellite services to the boats being utilized to engage in hostile operations against Israel.

Inmarsat could not be reached for comment.

Shurat Hadin has been spearheading the legal battle against the upcoming flotilla, filing lawsuits in several countries, targeting the flotilla’s organizers and sponsors as well as essential service providers.

Last week one of the ships that was scheduled to participate in the flotilla was informed that it would not be insured by its maritime insurance company, after the group sent out a warning letter, effectively making it impossible for the ship to leave its port in Marseille.

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