Jailed Fatah official Marwan Barghouti.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Jerusalem District Court came out with a decision on Sunday that found the Palestinian Authority liable to pay compensation to the families of three people killed in a terror attack in 2001.
In 2009, the estates of Yaniv and Sharon Ben-Shalom, and that of Sharon's brother Doron Yosef Svari, who were killed in a shooting attack on highway 443 in August 2001, sued the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.
Justice Moshe's Drori's decision on Sunday held that the PA was legally obligated to pay damages to the victims' families and to those wounded in the attack.
Two daughters of Yaniv and Sharon Ben-Shalom were infants in 2001 and were wounded in the attack. The children have been adopted by their uncle.
"The weapons and the funding were transferred from the Palestinian Authority to the commanders in the terrorist organizations, and the PA knew and understood the purpose for these transfers," Drori stated in his decision that spanned some 1000 pages.
"Because the Palestinian Authority has an obligation to act with care with regard to an individual who may be injured by its weapons, the Authority is obligated to pay damages to that individual if this obligation is breached," the judge stated.
The case was adjourned on the question of the amount of compensation that the PA would have to pay the plaintiffs.
Judge Drori found that Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader serving life in prison for multiple deadly attacks, had knowledge of the 2001 shooting.
"The evidence shows that defendant number ten, Marwan Barghouti, knew about the attack and was given a report following the act. The contact person between Barghouti and the terror organization was Barghouti's cousin as well as his personal driver."
The judge explained in his decision that Barghouti did not give evidence during the trial and did not answer the claims of the plaintiffs, which allowed the judge to accept the version of events as presented by the plaintiffs and reject the version of the defendants that held that the PA was not responsible for the terrorist attack.