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The US Supreme Court refused Monday to disturb a $116 million judgment against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the deaths of a Jewish couple near the West Bank.
The PLO, and the Palestinian Authority had been sued in federal court in Rhode Island over the 1996 drive-by shooting of Yaron Ungar, an American citizen, and his Israeli wife, Efrat, as the couple returned home from a wedding.
The family's relatives argued that the PLO and Palestinian Authority provided a safe haven and operational base for the terrorist group Hamas, which was responsible for the attack. A judge issued a default judgment after the PLO did not respond to requests for depositions from people including the late Yasser Arafat.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the lawyer for the PLO, told justices in the appeal last month that Ungar relatives have "commenced sweeping national and international efforts" to collect the millions of dollars, including an attempt to seize Palestine's UN Mission building in New York.
Clark said US courts "are marching off to the conflicts of the Middle East and elsewhere carrying with them the integrity of the US judiciary and risking the foreign perception that US courts will extend their jurisdiction globally deciding the most sensitive political questions affecting the foreign policies of the US and other nations as they go."
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