[JURIST] A case involving the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) [official website] and the Palestinian Authority (PA) [Britannica backgrounder] is set to begin in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] this week regarding attacks on Israel more than a decade ago and whether these organizations owe the victims as much as $1 billion in damages. Jury selection is set to begin on Tuesday in Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization and the trial itself is projected to last about 12 weeks. The attacks, which involved seven shootings and bombings between 2001 and 2004, killed 33 people and wounded over 450. The victims claim that the PLO and PA aided in carrying out the attacks by funding terrorist groups such as Hamas [BBC profile] and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades [NCTC profile]. The trial will add new dimensions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Bruce Zagaris [official profile], partner at international law firm Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, stated [Reuters report], “The political considerations are extremely complex.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict [JURIST news archive] has been a huge global political issue. Earlier this month Israel-based rights organization Shurat HaDin Law Center announced that it has filed a complaint [JURIST report] with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing three Palestinian leaders of war crimes. Also earlier this month, Israeli officials announced [JURIST report] that Israel will withhold the transfer of tax revenues to the government of the Palestinian Authority which was considered a strategic response to Palestine’s application to join the ICC. In November two UN experts stated [JURIST report] that the Israeli government’s use of house demolition as a punitive measure in response to alleged acts of violence by Palestinians must end immediately, and that such practices were a violation of human rights. In October the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) urged Israel [JURIST report] to investigate alleged violations committed by its forces during the recent wars in Gaza to ensure justice.