Oakland federal judge hears arguments accusing Pres. Biden of aiding genocide against Palestinians

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, January 26, 2024
Oakland judge hears arguments accusing Pres. Biden of aiding genocide
Plaintiffs in an Oakland courtroom hope to cut off U.S. funding to Israel's military, filing a lawsuit against Joe Biden and his administration.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A federal judge heard arguments in a case accusing President Joe Biden of aiding genocide against Palestinians in Oakland on Friday.

Inside a federal courtroom in Oakland, plaintiffs hoped to cut off U.S. funding to Israel's military, filing a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and his administration.

"He needs to represent the people that he serves and so many people are calling, so many offices, their boxes are full, it's like they're not listening and so we need our federal representatives to listen," Kimmi Lee, Director of Bay Resistance said.

MORE: Protesters call for cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war at VP Kamala Harris' San Jose event

Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting San Jose to show support for reproductive rights as protesters call for Israel-Hamas war cease-fire at event.

The plaintiffs, with direct ties to Gaza, are expected to testify to the judge how Israel's war against Hamas has impacted their families.

"We're hoping that the court will side with us and say that it is a genocide that's happening right now," Lee said. "The administration has avoided that word, has said well, Israel is defending itself, but they have not used the word genocide."

The Health Ministry in Gaza say more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed in this conflict so far, a majority being women and children.

"Like not in our name, we do not want these healthcare institutions being bombed," Dina Wahbe, a healthcare worker said.

MORE: Demonstrators call for Israel-Hamas cease-fire outside Nancy Pelosi's SF home

About 100 people gathered outside Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home this New Year's Day, demanding a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

The group heading into court Friday are backed by a number of labor unions and healthcare workers like Wahbe.

She showed up in her white coat to represent all healthcare workers who have been killed during the war.

"To hear of intensive care units without pain medications, antibiotics, amputations being done without any of the precautions, it is absolutely horrifying, and I'm heartbroken because we are allowed to have the highest level of care and yet, anyone else, we forbid them to have that," she said.

MORE: Protesters briefly hang large cease-fire banner from SF's Coit Tower in support of Gaza

Demonstrators held a rally and briefly hung a massive banner from San Francisco's Coit Tower in support of Gaza that read, "Jews Say: Let Gaza Live."

The lawsuit against this group of U.S. officials is citing violations of international law, codified in the 1948 Genocide Convention and the Genocide Convention Implementation Act passed by congress in 1988.

"This court ruling could go several different ways but it's another step for us to keep going closer to winning a ceasefire and to getting less military aid that the United States is supplying to Israel," Rosa Villarroel, a healthcare worker said.

The U.S. government has tried to get this case dismissed without any success, instead a judge has granted Friday's hearing to happen with live, in-person testimony from the people directly impacted.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live