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

Almog Meir Jan takes Palestine Chronicle and its tax-exempt benefactor, People Media Project, to court for giving Abdallah Aljamal platform to ‘disseminate Hamas propaganda’

Rescued hostage Almog Meir Jan raises his hands in celebration as he is escorted from an IDF helicopter on arrival at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Rescued hostage Almog Meir Jan raises his hands in celebration as he is escorted from an IDF helicopter on arrival at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Rescued hostage Almog Meir Jan is suing the People Media Project, a United States-based nonprofit that has ties to the journalist who held him captive, Fox News reported on Tuesday.

Meir Jan, 22, was held by Abdallah Aljamal, a spokesman for the Hamas-run labor ministry in Gaza who has contributed to several news outlets in the past, and who was a correspondent for the Palestine Chronicle, which is run by the nonprofit.

Meir Jan, along with hostages Shlomi Ziv, 40, and Andrey Kozlov, 27, was rescued from Aljamal’s home in central Gaza’s Nuseirat on June 8. Hostage Noa Argamani, 26, who was held some 180 meters (200 yards) away, was also rescued. Despite their buoyant appearance upon their return, the four were said to have faced harsh conditions in captivity.

The four were abducted from the Reim-area Nova music festival on October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists stormed southern Israel to kill nearly 1,200 people and take 251 hostages. Three-hundred and sixty people were killed at the Nova massacre.

Aljamal, his wife Fatma and his father Ahmad Aljamal were all killed during the hostage rescue mission. The family’s children survived.

The family was said to be known to have ties to Hamas, but residents told The Wall Street Journal they were unaware that hostages were being held at the Aljamal’s family home.

Abdallah Aljamal, who was holding three Israeli hostages captive in his home in central Gaza’s Nuseirat. Aljamal was killed and the hostages were rescued on June 8, 2024. (Social media)

“Under the leadership of Defendants [editor-in-chief] Ramzy Baroud and [People Media Project governor] John Harvey, Defendant Palestine Chronicle employed Hamas Operative Aljamal and offered him its US platform to write and disseminate Hamas propaganda, ultimately subsidized, through its status as a tax-exempt charitable organization, by US taxpayers,” the Fox News report quoted Meir Jan’s court filing as saying. It was submitted to Washington state’s Western District court on Tuesday, the report said.

The filing alleges the defendants “knowingly and willfully procured and disseminated Hamas propaganda to the Palestine Chronicle’s readers in the United States.”

Rescued hostages Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv are seen on an IAF helicopter after being extricated from the Gaza Strip, June 8, 2024. (Screenshot: Israel Defense Forces)

“Following the Hamas terror attacks of October 7, while Hamas Operative Aljamal imprisoned Plaintiff, Defendants permitted Hamas Operative Aljamal to use their platform to whitewash Hamas’s crimes and attract international support for its terrorist cause.

“By providing this platform to Hamas Operative Aljamal and compensating Hamas Operative Aljamal for his propaganda, Defendants aided, abetted and materially supported both Hamas Operative Aljamal and Hamas itself in their acts of terrorism, including kidnapping and holding Plaintiff hostage for 246 days, in violation of international law,” the filing adds, according to the report.

While Meir Jan, Kozlov and Ziv were being held captive in his home, Aljamal published numerous articles in the Palestine Chronicle. In an article published days before the hostage raid, headlined “My House Will Always Be Open,” Aljamal said he was willing to take in those Palestinians displaced by the war from other areas of Gaza.

Meir Jan’s lawsuit follows others filed by victims of October 7 in US courts. On July 1, October 7 victims sued Iran, North Korea and Syria, seeking at least $4 billion in damages from the countries for aiding and abetting Hamas’s terror onslaught. A week before, victims sued for $1 billion in damages from UNRWA, the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees, accusing it of funneling money into Hamas’s coffers and letting the terror group use the agency’s facilities.

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