A U.S. federal court in New York ruled on Monday that 11 American families who were victims of Palestinian terrorism have been awarded a significantly lower financial judgment than they had hoped.
U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a judge for the Southern District of New York federal court, has ordered the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to pay a $10 million dollar bond immediately and $1 million dollars a month until the appeals process is finalized, Fox News reports.
The victims of Palestinian terrorism had asked for $30 million dollars a month, according to the lawsuit.
In February, the families won a $1.1 billion dollar judgment, which accounts for approximately a third of the Palestinian Authority’s budget, according to the report. The Palestinians’ lawyers are in the process of appealing that judgment.
But the attorneys for the families of the victims have warned that the Palestinians will likely never have to pay more than the bond amount.
Nitsana Darshan Leitner, an attorney for the victims’ families, told Fox News, “This is a very serious blow to the terror victims who spent 11 years litigating against these terrorist defendants,” whom she said “certainly can afford to pay many of millions of dollars for a bond to ensure they don’t just run off and refuse to pay the court judgment after they lose at trial.”
Kent Yalowitz, a second attorney for the victims’ families, added, “It’s disappointing that the security for the judgment is so low.”
“The PA pays jailed and former terrorists $65 million per year, but claims it is ‘too poor’ to pay its judgment to the victims of those very same terrorists,” he told Fox News.
Leitner took shots at the U.S. State Department for its “heavy handed interference” in the ongoing trial. A few weeks ago, both the State Department and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a “statement of interest” in the case, pressuring Daniels not to request the $30 million dollar a month bond.
A State Department spokesperson refused to comment to Fox News, other than stating, “We are aware that the court made a decision in the Sokolow case regarding the bond.”
Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization focuses on the actions committed by Palestinian terrorists in Israel from 2001 to 2004. The attacks, many of them carried out via suicide bombing, resulted in the deaths of dozens of individuals and wounded hundreds more. The families of the suicide bombers received “martyr pay” from the Palestinian Authority, and the individual killers were awarded with posthumous promotions in Palestinian police and militant outfits.