Paramedics and police at the scene of a suicide bombing that killed 19 and wounded 74 on a Jerusalem bus, June 18, 2002. (Flash90)

“This move is one step closer toward justice for the victims and their families,” said attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center.

By World Israel News 

On Monday, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is liable for civil damages for terror attacks during the Second Intifada.

The landmark decision was won by Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center, an Israel-based organization that defends Israel and Jews through legal systems worldwide. In this case, it represented the families of eight victims of Second Intifada terror. The ruling could force the PA to compensate the families for as much as one billion shekels ($279 million) in damages.

The exact amount to be paid has not yet been determined, a Shurat Hadin spokesperson told World Israel News. “We are demanding one billion shekels,” she said, adding that the decision is expected within about a month.

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who leads Shurat Hadin, said the judge’s ruling was “a historic victory” for victims of Palestinian terror in Israel.

“The court found (the Palestinian Authority) responsible for attacks which were executed not only by their employees and operatives… which proves that the Intifada was a planned war against Israeli citizens,” she said.

The Second Intifada (2000-2005) was an orchestrated period of violence encouraged by the PA, then led by PLO Chief Yasser Arafat.

At Darshan-Leitner’s request, the court put a lien on land in Jerusalem owned by Arafat after she argued that it would be difficult to collect from the Arafat estate in the event the court ruled in her favor.

“Yasser Arafat was the grandfather of modern terrorism, responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children,” Darshan-Leitner told the court.

“This move is one step closer toward justice for the victims and their families. We will not allow a situation in which the Arafat Estate can own land in the heart of Jerusalem while avoiding paying damages to his victims.”