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US court orders Hezbollah to pay $111 million to victims of rockets in 2006 war with Israel

Israeli police at the site where a Hezbollah-fired rocket directly hit a building in the northern costal town of Nahariya, July 13, 2006. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)
Israeli police at the site where a Hezbollah-fired rocket directly hit a building in the northern costal town of Nahariya, July 13, 2006. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

A US court has ordered the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah to pay millions of dollars in damages to a group of Americans who sued saying they were wounded by the group’s rockets during the Second Lebanon War with Israel in 2006.

The case was brought under the US Anti-Terrorism Act and alleged that Hezbollah caused the plaintiffs physical and emotional injury and damaged their property.

The judge orders Hezbollah to pay damages of $111 million to the plaintiffs.

Such civil lawsuits brought against terror groups are difficult to enforce but Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, says it is an important legal victory against the Iran-backed group.

“Only by exacting a heavy price from those who engage in the business of terrorism can we prevent the suffering and loss of additional victims to their violence,” the Israeli Darshan-Leitner says in a statement.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war in 2006. Israel pounded targets in Lebanon while Hezbollah launched thousands of rockets at cities and towns in Israel’s north. The heavily armed Shiite jihadist group still poses a major threat to Israel.

In Friday’s ruling, Judge Steven L. Tiscione of the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, said the plaintiffs successfully established that Hezbollah’s actions were a violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act and held the group liable.

A Hezbollah spokesman declines to comment.

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