Ending a saga dating back to the end of the Second Intifada in 2004, a US jury on Monday handed down a historic verdict against the Palestinian Authority for involvement in six terror attacks from that time period, charging them with $655.5 million in damages.
Lead trial counsel Kent Yalowitz of Arnold & Porter said that “The Palestinian Authority and the PLO have been found liable by an American jury for six heinous terrorist attacks that killed and injured hundreds of civilians.”
He continued, “The PA and PLO policies of financial inducements and rewards for terrorism that are at the center of this case unfortunately continue today, more than a decade later.”
Yalowitz concluded, “I am truly privileged to have had the opportunity to represent these amazing families and join them in their quest for justice against those who have devastated their lives forever.”
Shurat Hadin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said “This historic verdict against the defendants will not bring back these families’ loved ones nor heal the physical and psychological wounds inflicted upon them but it truly is an important measure of justice and closure for them after their long years of tragic suffering and pain.”
She added, “We started out more than a decade ago with the intent of making the defendants pay for their terrorist crimes against innocent civilians and letting them know that there will eventually be a price to be paid for sending suicide bombers onto our buses and into our cafes.”
“The defendants have already been boasting that they will appeal the decision and we will never collect on the judgment – but we will go to the end of the earth to collect it,” she said.
My guess is that the Obama administration will somehow void it, but at least the jurors had some decency.
Here’s what the PA lawyer had to say:
Rochon, in a soft voice at times sounding weak and quivering, said, “I fear,” that this jury will find his client liable “because of who they are, not what they did or did not do.”
The plaintiffs’ central points are that a large volume of PA employees, including numerous policemen and commanders, have been arrested and convicted by Israel as having organized, planned and perpetrated suicide bombings and shootings against Americans in Israel, including the six attacks from 2001-2004 in the case during the Second Intifada. In those attacks, 33 were killed.
“So much sadness. So much sadness and death,” Rochon began. “All those souls extinguished.”
But “we’re not here to decide the Second Intifada,” to issue a judgment on that sadness, death, or the occupation, Rochon said, explaining that if the jury just focused on the six incidents at issue in the case, “the PA and the PLO are not liable.”
“Sometimes people who do terrible things work for the government.” But these are “things they did for their own reasons.”
A verdict against the defendants “would only damage the government and the PLO who do not deserve that.”
Again, my guess is that they won’t pay a dime. Or hey! Maybe the Obama administration can somehow give the money to the PA so that the US taxpayer pays it. But it must be affirming to the families that the men and women of the jury were not Jew haters and did the right thing.