Obama administration asks for lower appeal bond in Palestinian terror case

The Obama administration has warned a judge not to issue a high bond for the Palestinian Authority (flag pictured) in a terrorism trial. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) The Obama administration has intervened in a case involving a lawsuit brought by relatives of victims of Palestinian terrorism against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA), asking a New York City judge not to issue a high appeal bond that could destabilize the PA.

The jury in the trial awarded $218.5 million to American victims of the Palestinian terror attacks, an amount that is automatically tripled under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. While the case is being appealed, the plaintiffs have asked the PA to deposit a bond of $30 million per month until the appeal is resolved.

The Obama administration argued that the large bond could weaken the power of the PA and undermine U.S. foreign policy, including the prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

"Senior U.S. officials have made clear to other governments that if the PA were to collapse, we would be faced with a crisis that would not only impact the security of Israelis and Palestinians, but would potentially have ripple effects elsewhere in the region," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a five-page sworn declaration filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The weakening of the PA could "fuel anger and frustration" and lead to violence, he added.

Kent Yalowitz, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement, "We are gratified that the Department of Justice supports the rights of survivors of international terrorism to enforce their rights and collect the judgment, but disappointed that the State Department failed to take any stand against the PLO and PA's policy of putting convicted terrorists on their payroll as soon as they are jailed.” 

"If the PA has enough money to pay convicted terrorists, it has enough to pay the judgment in this case,” he added, the Associated Press reported.

Posted on August 12, 2015 .