NEW YORK (JTA) – A civil lawsuit filed by 11 families of American terrorist victims against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) can go to trial, an American federal court ruled.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Thursday that there was sufficient evidence to present to a jury concerning the involvement of the PA and PLO in attacks during the second intifada, between 2001 and 2004, that killed or injured American citizens.
In their suit filed in 2004, which is seeking $1 billion in damages, the families identified seven bombings and shootings that the PA and PLO provided material support and resources to carry out. The court found that a jury could hold the PA vicariously liable on six of the seven attacks.
The suit was filed under the U.S. Anti-terrorism Act, a law that permits U.S. citizens injured in terrorist attacks outside the United States to bring lawsuits in the American federal courts.
Barring a settlement, the trial – rare under the Anti-terrorism Act – would begin in January.
Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal group representing the families along with a New York firm, said in a news release that it will be the first opportunity for American terrorist victims to present evidence of the PA’s culpability for attacks that killed more 1,000 Israeli civilians.