Palestinian Authority Directly Responsible for Terrorist Attacks on Israel

Palestinians hold pictures depicting Osa

My colleagues and I at the ACLJ have long warned about the dangers of embracing the Palestinian “unity government” formed by the Palestine Authority and the terrorist group Hamas.

Now a federal court has held that the Palestinian Authority itself is directly responsible for terrorist attacks carried out on Israeli civilians.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

A federal jury in New York on Monday found the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization liable for supporting six terrorist attacks in Israel more than a decade ago and ordered the groups to pay $218.5 million to the American victims’ families.

Monday’s verdict in Manhattan federal court follows a lengthy legal battle stemming from a lawsuit filed in 2004 under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act. The 1992 law, which allows U.S. victims of international terrorism to seek remedy in federal court, automatically triples the jury damages awarded to more than $655 million because the claims involved an act of terrorism. . . .

After less than two days of deliberations, the 12-member jury decided the Palestinian Authority and the PLO knowingly helped facilitate a wave of deadly shootings and bombings in Israel in the early 2000s, which killed 33 people and wounded more than 400 others. The plaintiffs were 10 U.S. families affected by six specific attacks, including a 2002 bombing of a Hebrew University cafeteria and a 2004 suicide bombing on a public bus in Jerusalem.

Since joining with Hamas – the self-proclaimed “Jihad operations” “wing[] of Moslem [Muslim] Brotherhood in Palestine” and recognized terrorist organization responsible for numerous terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians – the Palestinian Authority has been seeking to accede to the International Criminal Court in order to bring false war crimes charges against Israel.

The fact remains that the Palestinian Authority has long been the responsible party for numerous civilian death, both of its own people and of Israel.  Its open embrace of the terrorist group Hamas has only exacerbated the problem, only given a formal stamp of approval to Hamas’s tactics, tactics that this verdict shows the PA and the PLO have long supported.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority don’t want peace; they want the utter destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.

Yet, the Obama Administration has remained mostly ambivalent to the atrocities.  It doesn’t fit into President Obama’s growing list of failed foreign policy narratives for the Middle East.

Unsurprisingly the Obama Administration had no comment on the verdict yesterday.

It continues to try to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, throwing our closest ally in the Middle East under the bus time and time again.

The Palestinian Authority’s embrace of terrorism could not be more clear; this jury verdict merely underscores that fact.  It’s time for the Obama Administration to get its head out of the sand and embrace reality.  If it wants a real foreign policy legacy, urge the Palestinian people to reject terrorism and demand peace.

But it won’t do that.  Not even a judicial finding of fact can convince it otherwise.

Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.