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Family Sues PA, Barghouti for Murder

The families of Jews killed in terrorist attacks fight back with a 450 million shekel lawsuit against the PA, PLO and Marwan Barghouti.
By Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel
First Publish: 7/27/2008, 6:45 PM

A “mega lawsuit” by fourteen relatives of terror victims was filed Thursday morning against the "Palestinian Authority," the Palestine Liberation Organization and PA terrorist Marwan Barghouti. The suit, filed in Jerusalem’s District Court, named seven other Arabs currently serving sentences in Israeli prisons for their roles in numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

The plaintiffs in the suit are the families of two Jews who were murdered by PA/PLO terrorists seven years ago in two separate attacks near the Jerusalem suburb of Givat Ze’ev. Ronen Landau, age 17, was murdered in an ambush on the Ramot-Givat Ze’ev highway while driving home with his father. Yoela Chen, 45, was shot to death at close range next to the Givonim gas station near Givat Ze’ev as she was on her way to a relative’s wedding.

The main defendant in the lawsuit, Marwan Barghouti, is head of the Fatah Tanzim terror group, an arm of the ruling Fatah-PA in Judea and Samaria. Barghouti is currently serving five consecutive life sentences, in addition to a 40-year term, for supervising murders of Jewish men, women and children, including Chen and Landau. Barghouti was convicted of Chen’s murder by the Tel-Aviv District court. 

Barghouti enjoys broad support among local Arabs and was predicted to win the PA Presidential elections following Yasser Arafat’s death if he were allowed to run. Spokesmen for the Hamas terrorist group claimed last week that Israeli negotiators are considering releasing Barghouti in exchange for the return of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in 2006.

In addition to Marwan Barghouti, his accomplice and relative Ahmed Barghouti is also being charged in the suit for his role in planning the Givat Ze’ev terror attacks and recruiting terrorists to carry out the shootings.

Representing the Landau and Chen families is attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, along with her colleague Roy Cohavi. Darshan-Leitner directs the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, which represents terror victims in litigation against terrorists and terrorist groups in Israel and abroad.

The families charge in the lawsuit that Marwan Barghouti masterminded terror attacks against Israeli civilians, including the murders of Landau and Chen, and conspired with senior Fatah Tanzim terrorists, who carried them out. The suit contends that Barghouti implemented Yasser Arafat’s policy of terror, and assisted Arafat, to whom Barghouti directly reported, in unleashing the terror war in September 2000 which the Arabs refer to as the "Al-Aqsa Intifada."

'We are demanding that the court set a high and painful price tag for the physical injuries and emotional damages inflicted upon residents of Israel by the terrorists,” explained Darshan-Leitner, “so that the Palestinians will understand that Jewish blood is not cheap.”

“We have  conclusive proof tying the PA and its senior officials to these terror attacks near Givat-Ze'ev, as well as many other attacks. We also have clear evidence of Marwan Barghouti's personal responsibility for the murders of  Ronen Landau and Yoela Chen. Barghouti is a convicted criminal and murderer and should be treated as such,” she continued.
 
She added: “Barghouti's involvement in these heinous crimes should always be remembered, especially these days when some politicians call for this mass murderer's release from prison. Securing justice for Landau and Chen's families against the Palestinians is securing justice for all the residents of Israel.”