Beelden na de terroristische aanslag op een bus in Jerusalem (juni 2002) [Flash90]“NY court: PLO, PA to blame for terror attacks a decade ago”

In landmark verdict, American victims awarded $218.5 million in damages; Palestinian leadership held accountable for six attacks – By Jennifer Peltz

NEW YORK (AP) — The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority were the catalysts for a series of terrorist attacks in the early 2000s in Israel that killed or wounded several Americans, a US jury found Monday at a high­stakes civil trial.

In finding the Palestinian authorities liable in the attacks, jurors awarded the victims $218.5 million in damages for the bloodshed. The US Anti­Terrorism Act could allow for that to be tripled.

The case in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn have been viewed as the most notable attempts by American victims of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to use US courts to seek damages that could reach into the billions of dollars. …


The PLO and Palestinian Authority had no immediate comment. None of the victims was in the courtroom Monday for the verdict.

In closing arguments, plaintiff attorney Kent Yalowitz had urged the Manhattan jury to order the PLO and Palestinian Authority to pay $350 million for providing material support to terrorists involved in six bombings and shootings from 2002 to 2004. …

… The suit against the PLO and Palestinian Authority and the other against the Jordan­based Arab Bank had languished for years as the defendants challenged the American courts’ jurisdiction.
Recent rulings found that they should go forward under the Anti­Terrorism Act, a more than 2­ decade­old law that allows victims of US­designated foreign terrorist organizations to seek compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and other hardship.

Jurors heard dramatic testimony from family members of people killed in the attacks and survivors who never fully recovered. One, Rena Sokolov, described how a family vacation to Israel in 2002 turned to tragedy with a bomb blast outside a Jerusalem shoe store. …

…The plaintiffs also relied on internal records showing the Palestinian Authority continued to pay the salaries of employees who were put behind bars in terror cases and paid benefits to families of suicide bombers and gunmen who died committing the attacks.

“Where are the documents punishing employees for killing people?” Yalowitz asked. “We don’t have anything like that in this case. … They didn’t roll that way.”

He also put up a photo of Yasser Arafat on a video screen, telling the jury that the Palestinian leader had approved martyrdom payments and incited the violence with anti-Israeli propaganda.

“The big dog was Yasser Arafat,” he said. “Yasser Arafat was in charge.” …

Lees ook: 

The New York Times: “Palestinian Groups Are Found Liable at Manhattan Terror Trial” 

… “Money is oxygen for terrorism,” Kent A. Yalowitz, a lawyer for the families, said in a closing argument on Thursday, adding that the antiterrorism law “hits those who send terrorists where it hurts them most: in the wallet.” …


The Times of Israel / The New York Times – foto: Beelden na de terroristische aanslag op een bus in Jerusalem (juni 2002) [Flash90]