newsIsrael at War

Rescued hostage sues US nonprofit for ties to Gaza journalist who held him

Almog Meir Jan is suing the People Media Project for materially supporting the Hamas operative who imprisoned him.

Almog Meir Jan, who was held captive in Gaza for eight month, returns to his home town of Or Yehuda, July 7, 2024. Photo by Jonathan Shaul/Flash90.
Almog Meir Jan, who was held captive in Gaza for eight month, returns to his home town of Or Yehuda, July 7, 2024. Photo by Jonathan Shaul/Flash90.

Almog Meir Jan, one of four hostages from the Gaza Strip rescued in a daring raid by Israeli security forces, filed suit on Tuesday against a U.S. nonprofit for employing the Arab journalist who held him captive, thereby aiding and abetting Hamas’s crimes.

Meir Jan, 22, was held by Abdallah Aljamal (sometimes spelled Abdullah al-Jamal), a reporter for The Palestine Chronicle, run by the People Media Project, a tax-exempt organization located in Olympia, Washington, Fox News reported on Tuesday.

Aljamal was also a spokesman for the Hamas-run labor ministry in Gaza.

He was killed, together with his wife and father, during the rescue mission.

According to Meir Jan’s court filing, the defendants—editor-in-chief of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud, and People Media Project governor John Harvey—“employed Hamas Operative Aljamal and offered him its U.S. platform to write and disseminate Hamas propaganda, ultimately subsidized, through its status as a tax-exempt charitable organization, by U.S. taxpayers.”

It said the defendants “knowingly and willfully” disseminated Hamas propaganda to readers of The Palestine Chronicle in the U.S. and that the defendants “permitted Hamas Operative Aljamal to use their platform to whitewash Hamas’s crimes and attract international support for its terrorist cause.”

By providing Aljamal with a platform and compensating him, the defendants “aided, abetted and materially supported” both Aljamal and Hamas “in their acts of terrorism, including kidnapping and holding Plaintiff hostage for 246 days, in violation of international law.”

The filing was submitted to Washington state’s Western District court.

The legal action was led by attorney Mark Goldfeder, who heads up the National Jewish Advocacy Center, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, together with Tel Aviv-based International Legal Forum.

“Most of the time 501c3s do good work and deserve support. Other times they are just a front for terror organizations, and unfortunately what we seem to have here is the latter,” said Goldfeder.

Arsen Ostrovsky, an attorney and CEO of the International Legal Forum, added: “Enough is enough, we need to hold accountable organizations masquerading as charities, but effectively underwriting the ongoing war crimes of Hamas and those who are continuing to hold hostages captive.”

On June 8, Meir Jan, together with fellow hostages Shlomi Ziv, 40, and Andrey Kozlov, 27, were rescued by IDF special forces from Aljamal’s home in Gaza’s Nuseirat neighborhood.

Noa Argamani, 26, held in a home 200 yards away, was also rescued.

All four had been abducted from the Supernova music festival during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7. A total of 364 people were murdered at the party, almost one-third of the approximately 1,200 total killed that day.

Hostages Freed
Freed hostage Almog Meir Jan arrives at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on June 8, 2024. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

‘They work for Hamas’

That Aljamal was both a journalist and a Hamas operative is not unusual in the terrorist-ruled Gaza enclave.

A January report by British investigative journalist David Collier found that half—35 of 70—”journalists” listed as killed in the fighting in Gaza worked for proscribed terrorist groups.

“I mean, you could argue that they are journalists. But they work for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” he said.

The filing by Meir Jan joins a wave of lawsuits following Oct. 7.

The U.S. Justice Department announced it is interviewing Oct. 7 survivors and victims’ families to build a case against the terrorist organization and its financial supporters, such as Iran.

On July 1, the Anti-Defamation League, together with a Washington-based law firm, filed a $4 billion suit in U.S. federal court against Iran, Syria and North Korea on behalf of American victims of the massacre.

And in early May, nine victims of the Oct. 7 massacre filed suit against U.S.-based pro-Hamas groups.

Defendants named in the suit included the AJP Educational Foundation Inc., also known as American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP).

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