The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced late Monday it plans to appeal a ruling by a New York court which found it and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) liable for their role in encouraging and inciting terror attacks during the Second Intifada, and ordered them to compensate the victims of six of those attacks.
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's office issued a statement quoted by Reuters saying both defendants would appeal and calling the allegations in the case "baseless."
Hamdallah also cited a decision this month from U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, D.C., who ruled she did not have jurisdiction over two similar Anti-Terrorism Act cases against the PA.
Legal rights group Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) helped represent the 11 families who charged the PA and PLO of inciting, supporting, planning and executing the seven terror attacks which killed American citizens between 2000 and 2004.
The 12-member jury decided unanimously that the PA and PLO were liable on 25 separate counts connected to the six attacks.
They apportioned individual damages ranging from $1 million to $25 million to Americans who were injured or lost loved ones.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman hailed the ruling as a "moral victory".
"This decision constitutes above all a moral victory for the state of Israel and for victims of terrorism," Liberman said of the ruling.
It "confirms the opinion of those who know what happened in the early 2000s but which many in the world refused to recognize because of hypocrisy, known vested interests or anti-Semitism," he said.
"Terrorism is an integral part of the very structure of the Palestinian Authority," Liberman charged.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later welcomed the ruling as well and called on the international community to continue to punish those who support terrorism.
"The U.S. federal court decision determines the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority for the murderous terrorist attacks of the previous decade. Instead of drawing the requisite lesson, the Palestinian Authority is advancing steps that endanger regional stability such as the hypocritical application to the International Criminal Court even as it is allied with the Hamas terrorist organization,” he said.
“We expect the responsible elements in the international community to continue to punish those who support terrorism just as the U.S. federal court has done and to back the countries that are fighting terrorism. Today as well we remember the families that lost their loved ones; our heart is with them and there is no justice that can console them," concluded Netanyahu.