May 15, 2009
Judge upholds $116 million lawsuit against PLO
A U.S. judge will not rescind his decision ordering the PLO to pay $116 million to the family of victims of a terrorist attack.
Ronald Lagueux, a federal judge in Providence, R.I., said Wednesday that the Palestine Liberation Organization was liable because of its refusal during the trial early in this decade to mount a defense; PLO leader Yasser Arafat refused to recognize U.S. sovereignty in the matter.
Yaron Ungar, a U.S. citizen, and his wife Efrat were shot dead as they traveled with their infant son near Beit Shemesh, a town near Jerusalem that also adjoins the West Bank.
In recent filings, the PLO blamed Hamas for the attack, saying it sought to sabotage Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The lawsuit targeted Hamas and the PLO, saying that the PLO was responsible as well because it gave the terrorists safe harbor. Hamas has never contested the suit.
It was not clear if the PLO planned an appeal.