JNS.org – A New York City-based federal jury on Feb. 23 ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay $218.5 million in reparations to American citizens who were targeted by terror attacks in Jerusalem, and to the victims’ families.
The court ruled in favor of 10 American families who sued the PLO and PA for six different terrorist attacks that were linked to those groups during the second Palestinian intifada (uprising). Thirty-three people were killed in those six attacks between 2002 and 2004, and 450 were injured. Since the lawsuit was filed in a U.S. court under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the reparation amount is expected to triple to $655.5 million. “Now the PLO and the PA know there is a price for supporting terrorism,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and the head of Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center.
The plaintiffs won the case after a 10-year legal battle in which the defense claimed that the PLO and the PA were not directly responsible for attacks, which were carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas. The verdict is likely to bolster Israel’s longstanding claim that Palestinian factions such as Mahmoud Abbas’s PA – which many in the West consider to be more moderate than Hamas – support terrorism.