A decade-long trial ended Monday in a landmark victory for the plaintiffs, when a Federal New York District Court found the Palestinian Authority and PLO liable for their role in knowingly supporting six terrorist attacks during the 2001-2004 intifada, in which Americans were among the thousands killed and injured. This is the first time that an American court of law has held the PA directly responsible for acts of terrorism.
The plaintiffs, 10 families comprising three dozen members, eight of whom were physically injured and the rest left with deep psychological scars, were awarded damages of $655.5 million. A special terrorism law triples the damages awarded by the jury.
The court accepted the victims’ evidence that PA security men helped plan or carry out the deadly shootings and bombings of unarmed civilians and that the perpetrators continued to receive salaries and promotions from the Palestinian Authority.
The PA in Ramallah reacted with fury to the jury’s decision, accusing Israel of exploiting the American court to undermine the two-state solution of the Mid East conflict. An appeal will be filed.