Israel attack victims awarded over $218 million in PLO trial in NY

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2015 1:14 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on Monday ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority to pay more than $218 million for providing material support to terrorists, a victory for Americans suing over attacks in the Jerusalem area more than a decade ago.

The verdict in the politically sensitive trial in Manhattan federal court added a new dimension to the long-running Middle East conflict, as American victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict sought to use U.S. courts to seek damages.

Jurors found in favor of 10 American families suing over six attacks attributed to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas. The award could be tripled under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.

Victims and their families had requested more than $350 million, or over $1 billion after tripling, over shootings and bombings from 2002 to 2004 that killed 33 people and injured over 450.

The PLO and Palestinian Authority are expected to appeal, and it is unclear whether victims would be able to collect if the award were upheld.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish)