As the AP reported, a three judge panel for the U.S. 2nd District Court of Appeals tossed out a $654 million jury verdict for damages against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO today for terrorist attacks it coordinated and sponsored in Israel that killed or wounded Americans.
The court’s ruling was based on a very curious interpretation of the law involved, the U.S. Anti Terrorism Act, which allows American victims of foreign terrorist attacks to sue state sponsors of terrorism in U.S. courts for damages.
The original verdict was the result of a case called Sokolow v. PLO that was tried by jury in the Federal District Court in Manhattan and was brought by American victims and survivors of six terrorist attacks in Israel between 2001 and 2004. The evidence showed clearly that not only had the PLO under Yasser Arafat planned, financed, and executed the attacks but that it continued to pay generous stipends to the perpetrators and their families.
The 2nd Circuit refused to allow any of the evidence linking the Palestinian Authority and the PLO to the attacks and the attackers to be heard, although as a sop, they admitted the attacks occurred and were ‘horrendous’.