The Manhattan Federal Court yesterday started a trial in which 11 Jewish American families are suing the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the PLO for supporting attacks that led to the killing of 33 members of their relatives in Jerusalem between 2002 and 2004, the Anadolu Agency reported.
Mark Rochon, lawyer for the PA and the PLO, told jurors today that his clients couldn’t be held responsible for terror attacks against Israel. “These acts happened. These acts were horrific, they are condemnable, they were wrong, but we are not defending these acts as resistance to an occupation or a struggle,” Rochon said. “This is not about that occupation,” he told jurors. “Ask yourselves whether the government I represent is responsible and should be held liable for things that they did not do.”
The victims are seeking $3 billion in compensation for damages based on assertions that the Palestinian groups violated the US Anti-Terrorism Act by supporting Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which the US has labelled terrorist organisations.
The plaintiffs also accused the PA of paying salaries to the families of those who carried out the attacks, which means providing implicit financial support.