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Dismissal of Terror Judgment Against PA Sets Bad Precedent

Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, NYC (Photo: flickr/kenlund)

In a recent Daily Dispatch, we told you about the shocking dismissal of a $655 million judgment against the Palestinian Authority, a judgment that held the P.A. responsible for victims of terror. JNS' Alina Dain Sharon writes that this dismissal is not only unfair to terror victims and their families, but sets a dangerous legal precedent, as well:

They won a $655.5 million compensation judgment in February 2015 after a Manhattan Federal Court jury found the PA was liable for terrorist attacks in which Americans were hurt. The U.S. Appeals Court then overturned the judgment on Aug. 31, blowing a hole in the legal effort to hold the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) accountable for the deaths of 33 Americans in terror attacks that occurred in Israel between 2001 and 2004.

“The case was dismissed on a technicality,” Shurat HaDin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner told JNS.org.

The appeals court’s decision stated that the PA and its parent organization, the PLO, do not have sufficient ties to the U.S. for American courts to have jurisdiction on their prosecution, citing the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. Nor did the court believe there was any evidence the terror attacks targeted U.S. citizens specifically...

Attorney Kent Yalowitz also told JNS.org that while Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act to protect traveling Americans, the same terrorists who prompted the passing of this law are now hiding behind the U.S. Constitution to avoid responsibility for their crimes.

“No one denies, as the federal jury has found, that the Palestinians carried out these attacks and killed and injured these American citizens, who will not give up seeking justice from the courts,” he said. And he calls on Congress and the U.S. State Department “to intervene on the side of American victims of terror to ensure that these families are compensated by the PA and PLO for these crimes..."

Tags: Terrorism

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