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PA to appeal US court verdict

The Palestinian government expressed "disappointment" over a New York federal court decision issued yesterday ordering the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to pay $218 million in damages to 10 American families whose relatives were victims of attacks during the Second Intifada, stressing that it will appeal the decision.

Jurors in the Manhattan Federal Court found the PLO and the Palestinian Authority "liable over six shootings and bombings between 2002 and 2004 in the Jerusalem area and which have been attributed to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas."

The sum is automatically tripled to $655.5 million under a 1992 US anti-terrorism law.

In a statement, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah described the allegations as "baseless".

He also cited a decision this month by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington D.C., who ruled she did not have jurisdiction over two similar cases.

The statement described the decision as a "tragic response to the millions of Palestinians who invested in democracy and the rule of law in order to seek justice and redress the injustice that they are exposed to, as well as the international community who invested financially and politically in the two-state solution."

The jurors found the Palestinian Authority "liable for supporting and training the attackers as well as supporting their families afterwards."

A Brooklyn federal court is scheduled to review another lawsuit brought by the American families in May this year.

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