Published On: Wed, Apr 13th, 2016

PA appeals against court ruling to pay terror victims

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner


A federal appeals court in New York will look into the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) appeal against Last February’s ruling that it must pay compensation to 10 families of terror victims with US citizenship.

A federal jury in Manhattan reached an unprecedented decision finding both the PA and PLO liable for six terrorist attacks carried out in Israel over a decade earlier.

The jury awarded the families $218.5 million in damages for the attacks. Under the provisions of the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, that amount was tripled to $655 million.

The case was the first Anti-Terrorism Act litigation in the U.S. to go to full trial.

The court found that the PLO and the PA were guilty of funding, supporting, planning and carrying out terror attacks in Israel throughout the Second Intifada. The jury agreed with the plaintiffs that authorized officials in the PA gave authorization, either before or after the attacks, to each use of terror in order to promote their policies and goals, and that PA officials were involved in the attacks.

This morning, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan heard arguments about whether a federal judge should have allowed the victims’ lawsuit to proceed in the U.S. in the first place.

After the hearing, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who served as co-counsel on the case, issued the following statement:   “The plaintiffs are cautiously optimistic that the Court of Appeals will uphold the unanimous verdict rendered by the jury against the Palestinian Authority and PLO for the murder and maiming of these U.S. families. The attacks perpetrated by these terrorist groups were directed against American citizens to terrorize the U.S. as well as Israel and to influence both nations’ foreign policy.  As the Court noted in its opening question if you can only find jurisdiction over a terrorist group if it’s headquarters is in the U.S. then the Anti-Terrorism Act will be useless and in enforceable.  A decision by the Court to strike down the ATA in a civil case could result in the ATA’s criminal provision to be struck down as well.  It’s time the Palestinians are made to pay for the devastation they caused these 11 American families.”


READ MORE: PLO in court

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