Jibril Rajoub
Jibril RajoubFlash 90

A Palestinian Arab-American family filed a lawsuit against Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Preventive Security Force in the Palestinian Authority, claiming that he tortured and murdered the family's father in 1995.

Rajoub received the suit, as well as a court summons, when he landed at JFK Airport in New York Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed for Rajoub's part in the torture and murder of Azzam Rahim, an American citizen from Dallas, Texas, on September 29, 1995. Rahim was arrested by the Preventive Security Services headed by Rajoub and tortured until he died in the organization's facilities in the Palestinian Authority.

Rajoub's arrival in New York sparked controversy because the State Department agreed to issue him a visa.

Jewish organizations protested that he was a convicted terrorist who should not be allowed into the US because of his violent history and his incitement against Israel and the United States.

He recently warned US President Trump not to relocate the US embassy in Israel to the capital of the Jewish state, Jerusalem, saying that the move would constitute a "declaration of war" against the Palestinian Arabs.

According to the prosecution, headed by Nitsana Darshan Leitner and Robert Tulchin, as the Preventive Security chief, Rajoub played a central role in the detention, torture and killing of Azzam Rahim, in violation of the Torture Victims Protection Law.

Rahim, who immigrated to Israel in the 1970s, visited the village of Ein Yabrud in the PA in 1995. While sitting and playing cards in a cafe, Preventive Security officers entered civilian clothes and arrested him, without giving any explanation. From there they took him to Jericho prison.

His family's efforts to release him were unsuccessful. Two days later, an ambulance arrived at Ein Yabrud and passed on the body of Rahim. The ambulance driver told the family that Yakira died of a "heart attack" at the hospital in Jericho, and that he should be buried quickly.

From the hospital, however, the family was told that he had reached them when he was no longer alive. Moreover, the autopsy of the body revealed bruises on his head and on the face of the deceased, broken teeth, a torn lip, and burn marks caused by cigarettes on his back and legs.

According to the report, Rahim was found to have had several ribs for weeks, and that no harm was reported to his heart, contrary to the claims of the Preventive Security Service.

The family's suit was originally filed eleven years ago in 2006, but it was deleted because Rajoub was not present in the US at the time, and the Torture Act allows for claims against torturers only when individuals are on US soil. Yesterday, the first time Rajoub visited the United States, and the family's lawyers chose to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity and deliver the statement to him immediately upon entering the country.

According to Darshan-Leitner, "Rajoub, as head of Preventive Security, played a central role in the torture and brutal murder of American citizen Azzam Rahim in 1995. The State Department recognized Rahim as a victim of torture in the Palestinian Authority and demanded that Arafat apologize to the family and investigate the incident" .

"This is the first time that the terrorist leader Rajoub has been allowed into the United States, and we were determined not to allow him to escape this time. We will act on the monetary level and bring him to pay compensation to the family, but the US Justice Department must investigate the case and also take the criminal steps against Rajoub, "Darshan-Leitner said.