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July 8, 2019 1:24 pm

Israeli Court Finds Palestinian Authority Liable for Second Intifada Terror Attacks

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The aftermath of a 2003 bus bombing in Haifa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In a precedent-setting ruling, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Monday that the Palestinian Authority was responsible for terrorist acts committed during the Second Intifada, including attacks by other Palestinian groups

The ruling means that the PA is financially liable to victims and their families. The Israeli news site Mako estimated that, as a result, lawsuits could eventually cost the PA a billion shekels, or nearly $300 million.

The lawsuit was brought by the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, which pursues legal action against terrorists and their supporters, following the model used by the US group Southern Policy Law Center against the Ku Klux Klan.

Shurat HaDin’s head Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said the ruling proved that the Second Intifada, which began in 2000 and petered out around half a decade later, “was not a popular uprising, but a planned and deliberate war against the civilian population of Israel.”

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“What Arafat did not achieve through the Oslo Accords, he tried to achieve through suicide bombings and shootings,” she said. “The Palestinian cause was genocide against Jews in Israel, and for that it will now pay dearly.”

Darshan-Leitner emphasized the importance of the ruling, saying, “This is a historic victory, these were the first cases filed against the Palestinian Authority, they were unprecedented.”

“Our claim from the outset was that the Palestinian Authority is a terrorist entity that promotes and encourages terrorist attacks,” she noted, “and indeed the court found it responsible for attacks carried out by terrorist organizations such as the PLO, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.”

The suit brought by Shurat HaDin dealt with over a dozen specific cases of terrorism. Prominent among them was a case brought by the family of Vadim Nurzhitz, who was killed by a lynch mob in an infamous 2000 incident in Ramallah. Also included was the murder of several members of the Gavish family on Passover 2002.

One case involved a Palestinian, Naaman Sharqiya, who was kidnapped by the PA and tortured on suspicion of being an Israeli agent.

In the ruling, Judge Moshe Drori found the PA responsible for 17 specific terror attacks.

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