Swedish tabloid sued in New York

An Israeli lawyer in New York has sued Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet following the publication of an article forwarding allegations that the Israeli army harvested the organs of dead Palestinians.

Swedish tabloid sued in New York
Photo: Nick Bramhall, Screenshot

Guy Ophir, who works in Israel but has an address in New York, submitted a civil action suit to the New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Ophir is claiming $7.5 million in damages against Aftonbladet. He writes in his writ that the newspaper intended to libel Jews and Israelis, himself included, and that he should be compensated financially.

The writ concerns an article published last week and which, according to Ophir, had ill intentions and is hateful against Jews, Israelis and the Israeli defence forces.

Ohir’s writ is directed against the freelance journalist, Donald Boström, who wrote the text, and Aftonbladet – which is described in court documents as “the Swedish union’s newspaper”.

But according to experts that news agency TT has spoken to, the case has little chance of success.

“As far as I can judge this lawyer has little hope of getting this case into court – as he is not himself named in the article,” Bob Clothier at the Fox Rothschild law firm in Philadelphia.

Guy Orphir has been a soldier in Israel and he is reported to have told the Jersusalem Post daily that the article is “incendiary” and “something Goebbels could have written”.

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Israel intercepts Swedish Gaza-bound activist boat

The Israeli navy intercepted a Swedish-flagged activist boat bent on breaching its more than decade-long blockade of Gaza, the second in less than a week, the military said on Saturday.

Israel intercepts Swedish Gaza-bound activist boat
Photo: TT

“The ship was monitored and was intercepted in accordance with international law,” the military said in a statement, before the vessel, named Freedom for Gaza and carrying 12 people, was taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

“The (military) clarified to the ship’s passengers that they are violating the legal naval blockade and that any humanitarian merchandise can be transferred to Gaza through the Port of Ashdod,” the statement said.

The people on board were taken for “further inquiry.”

The organisers of the flotilla said the boat, which was carrying medical supplies, was intercepted in international waters.

“The demands of Ship to Gaza are that the ship with its crew and cargo will be returned to the site of the boarding, and that they will be allowed to go in peace through international and Palestinian waters in accordance to international law,” they said in a statement.

“This is a demand that the eleven years-long illegal and destructive blockade on Gaza will be lifted at last.”

Freedom was the second boat of the “Freedom Flotilla” to be intercepted en route to “break the blockade” on Gaza, organisers said.

Four boats left from Scandinavia in mid-May and stopped in some 28 ports along the way, with two remaining behind after a recent stop in the Italian port of Palermo.

On Sunday, the Israeli navy intercepted a Norwegian-flagged activist boat that was part of the flotilla.

Israel has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2008 and says the blockade is necessary to keep them from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used for military purposes.

UN officials have called for the blockade to be lifted, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas where 80 percent of the two million population are dependent on aid.