US Court Orders PA, PLO to Pay $218m for Attacks Victims

NEW YORK, February 24, 2015 (WAFA) – A United States’ federal court has ordered the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to pay $218 million, in remuneration to 10 American families affected by suicide attacks in Israel which took place between 2002 and 2004.

Reuters agency said jurors in Manhattan federal court awarded $218.5 million in damages to 10 American families who brought the case, a sum that is automatically tripled to $655.5 million under a 1992 U.S. anti-terrorism law.

A jury on Monday found the PLO and the Palestinian Authority were liable for six shootings and bombings between 2002 and 2004 in Jerusalem, which have been attributed to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas.

The attacks killed 33 people, including several U.S. citizens, and injured more than 450.

“Now the PLO and the PA know there is a price for supporting terrorism,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, was quoted by Reuters.

Commenting on this, the Palestinian government said it was disappointed by the decision, saying the decision disregarded previous legal precedents. The government’s statement said the Palestinian Authority was likely going to appeal the verdict.

It said the verdict would undermine the two-state solution, cement settlement activities and encourage Israel to continue to withhold Palestinian tax revenues.

“This decision is a tragic response to millions of Palestinians who invested in the democratic process and the rule of law, seeking justice and abolition of the oppression which has befell upon them,” the statement said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s office issued a statement about the verdict and said the allegations in this case were ‘baseless.’