Palestinian Authority to appeal against $218m US court ruling

Palestinian Authority to appeal against $218m US court ruling
Cash-strapped officials under occupation reject ruling saying Palestinians must compensate Israeli-Americans.
2 min read
24 February, 2015
Palestinians under military occupation have rejected the notion they owe compensation to Israelis [Getty]

Dr Hanan Ashrawi said on Tuesday that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would appeal against a US ruling to pay out some $218 million in compensation to Israeli-American victims of bombings.

The senior PLO official expressed confidence that, as long as the PA cooperated with the US legal system, it would not have its assets seized in the United States.

The court ruling, which refused to recognise Palestinian statehood, came as Israel continued to withhold tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA for the third month in a row. The withheld tax now amounts to some $525 million.

Palestinian Authority and PLO face $218 million fine: Read more

"We cannot pay. We do not have this money," Ashrawi told reporters.

"This decision comes at a moment when the [Palestinian] Authority is fighting for its survival," said the veteran legislator. "If it collapses, there will be consequences for the entire world."

     We cannot pay. We do not have this money.
- Hanan Ashrawi, PLO official

"We confirm that we will appeal this decision, and we are fully confident that we will win the appeal, either by its amendment or the annulment of the ruling... we do not doubt the impartiality of the American judicial system."

The money in question will reportedly be spread around the families of Israelis with US citizenship killed in Palestinian attacks.

"There is not enough money in the world to compensate the Palestinian people for their suffering due to the crimes of the Israeli occupation," added Ashrawi.

"The aim of the American court is to cripple the [Palestinian] Authority and the Organisation [PLO] and to thoroughly oppress the Palestinian people... The main issue is the occupation, which should be prosecuted and be made to pay compensation for its crimes against the Palestinian people over the past few decades."