B’nai B’rith International lauds the jury in a New York federal court for handing down a historic verdict in the battle against terror, finding the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) liable for terrorist attacks that killed 33 Americans and injured more than 450 during the Second Intifada.
The plaintiffs included 10 American families whose relatives were killed or injured from 2002 to 2004. They argued that the PA and PLO provided direct and ancillary assistance to the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks, as well as financial compensation to those imprisoned and to the families of those who died. The U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York jury awarded the plaintiffs $218.5 million in damages, a figure that triples to $655.5 million under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.
In an era of rising terrorism, this verdict sets a legal and moral standard for the often onerous pursuit of justice against perpetrators. Moreover, this verdict is a symbolic victory for the families of those Americans killed by the PA and the PLO in the past, such as the U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, Jr., who was taken hostage and shot by PLO militants in 1973.
No sum of money can ever heal the pain and suffering of the victims’ families, but this decision, for the first time, has brought a measure of justice to those seeking redress for these murderous acts.