Monday, August 3, 2015

Obama mulling intervention in massive judgment against Palestinians in terror case

(Fox News) The Obama administration has signaled it may intervene next week in a civil lawsuit in which 11 American families won a potential billion-dollar judgment from the Palestinian leadership over a series of bombings and shootings that killed or wounded dozens of U.S. citizens, a move that critics say would find the government siding with terrorists over its own citizens.

The families won a $218.5 million judgment in February after a seven-week trial in Manhattan Federal Court in which a jury found the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority were responsible for a string of attacks from 2001 to 2004 that killed 33 and injured hundreds. A 1992 law that requires damages in such cases to be tripled, as well as interest on the award, would push it to as much as $1.1 billion. The judgment, which the Palestinians are appealing, would equal nearly a third of the Palestinian Authority’s annual operating budget.

Late last month, the Department of Justice, which had previously not been involved in the 11-year-old case, informed the court it was considering filing a “statement of interest” in the case by Aug. 10, but officials would not elaborate. A source said the Department of Justice was working with the State Department on the matter.

“As the filing states, the United States is considering whether to submit a Statement of Interest in the [Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization] matter,” a DOJ spokeswoman told “Any filing would be made on behalf of the United States, not on behalf of any other party.”