After losing a landmark decision on November 20 allowing them to be tried for terrorism charges in a $1 billion case, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have now filed a very rare appeal to the Second Circuit of courts trying to squash the case.
Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) is leading the legal charge against the PA and PLO. In a press release on Thursday they noted that the appeal, known as a motion for a writ of mandamus, "concerns personal jurisdiction and should have been filed months ago."
"This is a desperate attempt by the Palestinian Authority to stall this long planned trial," said Shurat Hadin Chairperson Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, whose organization is representing 11 American families of terror victims in the case.
The November decision set a New York court date for January in which the Israel-based civil rights organization's lawsuit from 2004 will finally be heard, charging the PA over the involvement of PA and PLO members in seven terror attacks between 2001 and 2004 during the Second Intifada.
Darshan-Leitner added "for over a decade the defendants have tried every tactic in the book to obstruct and avoid their inevitable date with a New York jury which will finally hear the shocking evidence of their involvement in the terror attacks that left so many Americans dead."
"After more than a decade of litigation and the Palestinians filing motion after motion after motion, and dragging these American terror victims through this prolonged emotional experience they should not be allowed to avoid trial for even another moment. Those who lost their children in the Hebrew University cafeteria bombing and other PLO terrorist attacks deserve to finally have their day in court," concluded Darshan-Leitner.
In setting the court date back in November, the US District Court in New York found there was sufficient evidence to present to a jury that the PA and PLO had provided material support for seven attacks that killed American citizens, and that the PA could be tried for being "vicariously liable" on six of the seven attacks.
The decision found there was enough evidence to rule that PA employees conducted terrorist attacks against civilians in Israel, and that the PA and PLO provided weapons, money and other material support in violation of the Anti-Terror laws.
Additionally, the court found the jury could rule that the PA provided safe haven to the terrorists, and gave material support to the terrorist organizations Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the "military wing" of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.