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Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

US jury orders PA, PLO To Pay $218 Million To Victims Of Hamas And Al Aqsa Attacks

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — A US jury on Monday ordered Palestinian authorities to pay $218 million in damages to American victims of six separate attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004.The jury found the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization liable on 25 separate charges after a day of deliberations in the New York court.

Eleven plaintiff families filed suit in federal court against both the PA and the PLO following the attacks that killed 33 people and injured more than 390 others.

The plaintiffs had pressed for the PA and the PLO to be held accountable for supporting the attacks carried out by members of the Islamist movement Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, some of whom were also on the entities’ payroll.

But lawyers for the PA said last week it should not be held responsible for “crazy and terrible” attacks committed in Israel, insisting the subjects acted independently.

The Palestinian defense team said that neither the PLO nor the PA had anything to do with the attacks. Defense lawyer Mark J. Rochon told the jury on Thursday that he did not want “the bad guys, the killers, the people who did this, to get away while the Palestinian Authority or the P.L.O. pay for something they did not do,” the New York Times reported.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi testified for the defense, telling the jury, “We tried to prevent violence from all sides,” the Times report said.

A New York court last month had ruled there was sufficient evidence suggesting that the PA and PLO were involved in attacks during the Second Intifada that killed US citizens.

The suit was filed under the US Anti-terrorism Act.

Ma’an staff contributed to this report.

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Author: OccPalGaza

Blogging from Gaza-current events, news and actions against the Occupation.

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