A landmark ruling was handed down in Jerusalem today, in which the Palestinian Authority was found guilty of responsibility for 17 separate attacks against Israeli civilians, perpetrated by Palestine Liberation Organization, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists during the Second Intifada. Until now the Israeli justice system has only found the P.A. culpable of terrorist acts committed by its employees.
The distinction in today’s verdict is that Ramallah was convicted for not only supplying terrorist organizations with weapons and monetary backing necessary to carry out attacks, but also encouraging violence through the promotion of inciteful ideology as well as material support to family members of Palestinians who attacked Israelis.
Vice President of the Jerusalem District Court, Justice Moshe Drori, wrote in his ruling that “The PLO, the PA, (Yasser) Arafat, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and other senior figures such as Marwan Barghouti all aimed to kill Jews and Israelis and harm the State of Israel.”
1010 Israelis were killed by Palestinian assailants during the 2000-2005 uprising [for a complete list of the 1,354 Israeli victims of Palestinian violence 2000-2019, https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/victims%20of%20palestinian%20violence%20and%20terrorism%20sinc.aspx).
Today’s ruling pertained to a joint petition by the survivors and relatives of 17 specific incidents, during which 34 Israelis were murdered. The attacks included the notorious lynching of two IDF soldiers at a Palestinian police station in Ramallah October of 2000, a suicide bombing in the heart of Jerusalem on the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall December 2001, and a March 2002 attack on an Elon Moreh family.
The Palestinian Authority is now compelled to pay up to one billion shequels ($280m) in compensatory damages to the plaintiffs, which will be determined at a future hearing. The Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, which filed the suit, has hailed the ruling as an “historic victory.”