After 11 long years of waiting, victims of Palestinian terror will finally get their day in court.
Eleven years after filing a billion-dollar lawsuit, victims of terror attacks in Israel between January 2001 and February 2004 hope to prove to a Manhattan federal court that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were behind the attacks and must be held accountable, AP reports.
The plaintiffs, represented by Shurat HaDin–Israel Law Center and Kent Yalowitz of Arnold & Porter LLP, will try to persuade jurors that the PA directly and indirectly sponsored or encouraged the deadly terror attacks against Israeli civilians.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs have collected and translated thousands of Arabic and Hebrew documents, largely collected by Shurat HaDin, which they hope will help illustrate the alleged complicity of Palestinian leaders in the attacks.
The victims of seven shootings and bombing attacks near Jerusalem, in which 33 Israelis were killed and hundreds of others wounded, filed their suit under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991. Approximately 40 people are scheduled to testify over the course of the six-to-eight week trial, which is expected to be a heart-wrenching event
“The injuries remain very fresh for most of these people,” attorney Phil Horton said. “It is often hard to work with them because the pain is still so great. There have been a lot of tears in conference rooms.”
The plaintiffs are seeking $1 billion, but any damages awarded to the plaintiffs would be automatically tripled because the claims involved acts of terrorism, Horton added.
“This case is really about the rule of law. Can you take the law into your own hands or not? Terrorism is the opposite of the rule of law,” he stated.
The PA, on its part, has claims that a US court has no jurisdiction over the victims.
“Given the high stakes, extraordinary burden and substantial foreign policy consequences associated with bringing a foreign government to trial for supporting terrorism, the trial … should not go forward in the absence of general personal jurisdiction over them,” the PA lawyers wrote in papers submitted to the appeals court.
They also said the publicity of the trial, “some of it inevitable, some of it sought by plaintiffs, will undermine the confidence in the PA’s ability to govern and contribute to a worsening of tensions in the region at a delicate moment.”
By: United with Israel Staff
Sign the Petition to Stop Funding the Palestinian Authority
Petition to the United States and European Union
We demand that all funding of the PA be stopped immediately. The brutal murder of Israelis committed by Palestinian terrorists throughout Israel is the latest result of ongoing PA incitement against Israeli citizens. Funding the PA means funding terror.