US court: Ex-Israeli cabinet member cannot be sued

A federal appeals court said a former Israeli security chief cannot be sued in the United States for 15 deaths in a Gaza City bombing. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday in New York. The court said Avraham Dichter was immune under common law from being held responsible for the July 2002 bombing of a Gaza apartment complex in which Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh was assassinated, as well as his wife, a daughter, his right-hand man, Zaher Nasser, and nine children. Dichter was director of the Israeli Security Agency at the time. A lower court rejected a 2005 lawsuit. It sought class action status for bombing survivors and victims' families. They tried to sue under laws used by Holocaust survivors and relatives of people killed or tortured under despotic regimes.