Jerusalem court: PA must pay compensation for Hamas, Jihad terror attacks
Unprecedented ruling handed down in light of Palestinian Authority support for families of suicide bombers and terrorists jailed in Israel; joint petition by victims and their relatives focuses on 17 terror attacks at start of millennium in which 34 Israelis were killed; petitioners seeking total compensation of some NIS 1 billion
The attacks cited in the ruling include the October 2000 lynching of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah; the December 2001 suicide bombing on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem; and the March 2002 attack at the Gavish family home in Elon Moreh.
The ruling applies to 17 petitions presented by the Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) organization on behalf of the victims of the attacks and/or their families.
The total compensation demanded in all of the claims together stands at around about NIS 1 billion (approx. $280 million).
Monday's ruling states that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the attacks and that the victims can seek compensation, but the exact amount will be determined at a later date.
This is an unprecedented decision, as Israeli courts have until now only deemed the Palestinian Authority responsible for attacks carried out by its employees.
The hearings in some of the claims have been going on for about 20 years, and all of the claims were finally consolidated into one case.
The court has now found the PA responsible for terror attacks carried out by terrorist organizations due on the grounds that it provided financial aid and weapons to carry out the attacks and because of ideological and financial support for the families of suicide bombers and Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel.
In his ruling Monday, Justice Moshe Drori, the vice president of the Jerusalem District Court, wrote: "The PLO, the PA, (Yasser) Arafat, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and other senior figures such as Marwan Barghouti all aimed to kill Jews and Israelis and harm the State of Israel."