– U.S COURT – PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY RELATED TO TERROR !
A USA Federal court in New York, on 02/23/2015, has found the Palestine Liberation Organisation – PLO and the Palestinian Authority liable for attacks in Israel during the second Palestinian intifada between 2002 and 2004. After deliberating for a day, jurors ruled in favour of 10 American families, who lost relatives in the terrorist attacks and were seeking damages related to the six attacks..
In six attacks in and around Jerusalem 33 people were killed and hundreds more wounded. The jury awarded victims of the attacks more than $218m. As some of the victims were American citizens, the lawsuit was filed in a USA Federal court. The case featured a host of all-star witnesses, including top PLO official Hanan Ashrawi, former top IDF intelligence and military prosecution officials, and the current head of the PA’s “CIA.”
The plaintiffs argued that a large volume of PA employees, including policemen and commanders, were previously convicted by Israel for having part in terrorist attacks in Israel, including the specific six attacks from 2001 to 2004, and should therefore be found guilty in the civil case in New York. They said they had “proven to the court that the systematic suicide bombings and shootings were perpetrated pursuant to [PLO leader] Yasser Arafat’s official policy of unleashing criminal violence against civilians in Israel.”
The victims’ families allege that internal documents show the attacks were approved by the Palestinian authorities.Those involved in the attacks still receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority and still get promoted in rank while in jail,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel-based Shurat HaDin Law Center, a lawyer who is representing the victims’ families.
The plaintiffs’ lead trial lawyer, Kent Yalowitz of Arnold & Porter, said, “The message is clear. If you kill or injure Americans overseas, you can expect the long arm of American law to follow you and bring you to justice. Justice includes justice against those who send terrorists.”
Defence lawyer Mark Rochon told jurors that the PA and PLO did not have knowledge of the attacks before they took place. The organisations could not be held liable for the actions of suicide bombers and gunmen, whom he argued acted alone, he said. The central argument claimed that the PA employees who had perpetrated terrorism were rogue operatives, “Sometimes people who do terrible things work for the government.” But these are “things they did for their own reasons” lawyer Mark Rochon said,
The Palestinian groups expressed dismay at the court’s decision and vowed they would appeal. A joint statement by the PLO and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) described the charges as “baseless” and said they were disappointed by the ruling.
The victims had requested more than $350m. The US Anti-Terrorism Act could yet allow for the fine to be tripled.
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