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US court freezes Palestinian assets due to unpaid damages

[JURIST] A US federal court has frozen the Palestinian Authority's access to assets held in the US after it failed to pay $116 in damages for the 1996 shooting deaths of an American citizen and his Israeli wife. After the deaths of Yaron and Efrat Ungar, a five-year legal battle ensued against the Palestinian Liberation Organization [UN backgrounder] and the Palestinian Authority [official website] which resulted in a judgment against the two groups [JURIST report] last year. The defendants are still able to withdraw monies from certain accounts in order to cover daily operation expenses in their New York and Washington offices. US State Department [official website] spokesman Sean McCormack said the department does not believe any of the assets have yet been seized [press briefing transcript], while lawyers for the Ungar estate insist the funds are already inaccessible. Aljazeera has more. The Boston Globe has local coverage.

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