Former Hamas hostage sues US charity that he claims ‘enabled’ his captivity

Almog Meir Jan, 22, was held captive by a journalist funded by the US non-profit the People Media Project


A former hostage is suing a US-based non-profit organisation which he alleges “enabled” his captivity in Gaza.

Almog Meir Jan, 22, was kidnapped at the Nova Music Fesitval on October 7 and held hostage in Gaza for 246 days before being freed in a daring IDF recuse mission last month.

Along with Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, Jan was held in the home of Abdullah Aljamal.

Aljamal was a correspondent working for the Palestine Chronicle at the time, a news site owned by the People Media Project, which is based in the US.

The lawsuit claims “it is indisputable that defendants provided Hamas operative Aljamal, whose connections to Hamas were publicly known, with a US-based and taxpayer subsidized platform to publish Hamas propaganda and to pass the material off as independent journalism”.

The suit goes as far as to allege that “the compensation defendants paid Hamas operative Aljamal for his propaganda directly enabled him to imprison plaintiff in his home”.

Jan claims he was “abused and mistreated” by his captors, according to legal documents. He was freed in last month’s daring raid alongside Kozlov, Ziv, and Noa Argamani.

Aljamal, Jan’s captor, was killed in the raid alongside his family. The Gaza-based journalist, who had previously worked for the Hamas-run Labour Ministry, wrote regularly for the Palestine Chronicle.

According to court filings, Aljamal began writing for the Palestine Chtonicle in May 2019. He continued to have his work published until just before the June 8 rescue operation.

The suit alleges that the Palestine Chronicle “permitted Hamas Operative Aljamal to use their platform to whitewash Hamas’s crimes and attract international support for its terrorist cause”.

The lawsuit also implicates two board members of the People Media Project: Ramzy Baroud, the Editor in Chief, and John Harvey, a board member who incorporated the charity in 1999. The suit also links Baroud and Aljamal directly, citing an opinion piece they co-authored in Al Jazeera.

Hours after the hostage rescue, the Palestine Chronicle changed Aljamal’s status on their website from “correspondent” to “freelance contributor”.

US entities which provide material support to terrorist organisations could be acting in breach of anti-terrorism laws, and subject to criminal penalties. Hamas has been a proscribed terrorist organisation, acccording to the US Department of State, since 1997.

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