According to a new US Court ruling, authorities with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority must pay over $650 million to citizens of the United States, as well as loved family members, for attacks in early 2000 in Israel.
The ruling came down from the US District Court in New York, which means that the 40 people or their estates would receive millions of dollars each. With this, additional lawsuits filed against governments of foreign countries are also under fire for their involvement in terrorism to include a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia for the 09/11 attacks.
Although this is good news for the families involved, the decision has not been finalized. Of course there is also no guarantee that either organization would every pay a dime.
Mahmoud Khalifa, spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority said that there is deep disappointment from both groups. He added that the charges are baseless, the legal precedent set time was completely ignored, and that US courts are not the right jurisdiction to oversee a hearing such as this.
Khalifa added that both groups are confident they will win during the appeal process. In order to maintain a strong commitment to international law and nonviolent resistant, leaders in Palestine are fighting against violence and extremism. According to Khalifa, the groups are battling redress from political, moral, and legal perspectives, saying the lawsuit is not making things easier.
As part of Khalifa’s statement, he believes the case is a way for the US legal system to be taken advantage of by anti-peace factions in Israel and push their political agenda. For millions of Palestinians who have invested financially and politically in a two-state solution and the democratic process, the ruling is tragic.
The case covers attacks from 2001 through 2004 in which Palestinians staged a number of deadly attacks inside of Israel. During that period, some Americans got caught up, to include more than 20 listed in the case. While some Americans lost their lives, others were physically, mentally, and emotionally damaged.
One name on the list is Mark Sokolow who worked in New York as an attorney at the time of 09/11. After escaping the collapse of the Twin Towers, he was walking in West Jerusalem just four months later only to be seriously wounded by a bomb that ultimately killed one individual and injured over 100 others. Both he and his wife suffered injuries in the attack
As stated by Jerry S. Goldman, attorney for families of 09/11 who are suing Saudi Arabia among other countries, the decision that came down this week is not about the Palestinians but cutting off funds used by terrorists.