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Father of Palestinian American Boy Files Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

The father of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy who was fatally stabbed by an Illinois landlord filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Oday Al-Fayoume filed the lawsuit against 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, his wife Mary Czuba, and their property management company Discerning Property Management, USA Today reports. The suit alleges that before the attack on Al-Fayoume's son, Wadea Al-Fayoume, which also injured the boy's mother, landlord Joseph Czuba told his wife that he wanted the mother and child to move out of the home they'd rented from Czuba for two years. Czuba also allegedly said he was afraid that the mother's "Palestinian friends were going to harm them,” according to the lawsuit, filed Nov. 21.


Joseph Czuba pleaded not guilty in court in October. He faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and two counts of hate crime after a grand jury indicted him last week. Authorities allege that Czuba was motivated by his "hatred of Muslims" and targeted the family in response to the Israel-Hamas war. "He was angry at her for what was going on in Jerusalem," according to court documents. "She responded to him, 'Let’s pray for peace.' ... Czuba then attacked her with a knife." The incident drew national attention and condemnation from public officials and advocates. The Justice Department opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the attack, and Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that the attack would renew fears among Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian communities.

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