Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah gestures during an interview in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sept. 7, 2014 (AFP/Abbas Momani, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah welcomed on Thursday a United States court decision to dismiss a $655 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) over claimed damages caused to American citizens by Palestinian attacks in Israel.
“We are gratified with the court’s just findings and we appreciate the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Finance, the legal team and all those who stood for justice and the Palestinian cause,” Hamdallah said. “Palestinians have suffered for too long under a brutal Israeli occupation. We hope for a just solution so people in Palestine and Israel can live in peace and harmony.”
According to Reuters, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan voted unanimously against a ruling by a lower court judge and ordered that the lawsuit be dismissed, arguing that the United States justice system did not have jurisdiction over the case.
Ten American families had sued the PA and PLO under the US Anti-Terrorism Act for damages for attacks between 2002 and 2004 during the Second Intifada, in which several American citizens were killed and wounded.
Although the attacks had been attributed to the Fatah and Hamas movements’ military wings, the families sought to hold the PA and PLO accountable for allegedly providing material support to the groups.
Defense lawyers said at the time that there was no conclusive evidence that the senior leadership of the PA or PLO were involved in planning or approving specific acts of violence.