Though a U.S. court awarded 11 American families over $200 million from the PA and the PLO for terror attacks that killed their loved ones, the U.S. government may intervene on behalf of the terrorists. So reports Foxnews.com, in news that was confirmed by one of the lawyers for the families, Kent Yalowitz.
The problem from the standpoint of the U.S. is that the damages awarded are so high that they may cause the Palestinian Authority to go bankrupt. However, the government has apparently not asked the PA to save money by stopping its monthly stipends to the very terrorists, and their families, who committed the attacks.
"The U.S. government and the Department of Justice should be ashamed that they are even considering telling an American court that the PLO and the PA can afford to pay convicted terrorists, but cannot afford to pay the victims of those very same terrorists,” Alan Bauer, a family member, told Fox News.
The families won a $218.5 million judgment this past February in Manhattan Federal Court, in which a jury found that the PLO and Palestinian Authority were responsible for a string of attacks from 2001 to 2004 that killed 33 and injured hundreds. A 1992 law requires damages in such cases to be tripled, thus hiking the amount awarded to over $550 million, and interest that could potentially be added could double that amount to $1.1 billion.
The PLO and PA are appealing the ruling, and the Obama administration's Department of Justice informed the court last month that it was considering filing a “statement of interest” in the case by Aug. 10. It did not elaborate, but observers believe the statement would favor the defendants and their terrorist interests.
“An administration which claims to be fighting terror is planning to weigh in favor of the terrorists,” Yalowitz told FoxNews.com. “If our government actually came in favor of convicted terrorists, it would be a really sorry statement about the way our government treats terror."
Despite the appeal, U.S. District Judge George Daniels said he may require the PA/PLO to post bond until the appeal is settled. This, in order to show “some meaningful demonstration that the defendant is ready and willing to pay the judgment."
The plaintiffs included the estates of four U.S. citizens who were killed and several dozen Americans who were physically or psychologically injured in the attacks, as well as their families. They were represented by Attorney Kent Yalowitz, while others were represented by Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel Law Center.
The PLO/PA were found liable for six shootings and bombings in the Jerusalem area. In two cases, the attackers were Palestinian Authority police officers; in another, a suicide bomber was shown to have worked closely with the PA’s military intelligence office in planning the attack; and in a 2004 suicide bus bombing, in which 11 were murdered and 50 wounded, PA police and security officials admitted to participating in the plot and making the bomb.
In each case, Fox News reported, the Palestinian Authority paid the families of suicide bombers and those later jailed for their participation in the attack.