The judge in a New York terrorism case that ended in a victory for the plaintiffs on Monday, Aug. 24, imposed a $10 million bond on the defendants, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. The defendants must also make $1 million monthly payments during the duration of any appeals of the $655 million award to the plaintiffs at the end of the jury trial back in February.
Judge George Daniels presided over Sokolow v. PLO in U.S. District Court in the Southern District Court of New York.
Daniels accepted the recommendation made by the defendants and by the U.S. government, which intervened in the case earlier this summer. The government claimed that a standard bond amount would bankrupt the Palestinian Arab organizations.
The U.S. government claimed in its Statement of Interest that ensuring the viability of the PA and PLO are “essential to key U.S. security and diplomatic interests,” which include the “peace process” and “fighting extremism and terror.”
The plaintiffs in the case had all either been injured themselves or lost family members in terrorist attacks carried out by or with the support of the PLO and the PA between 2001 and 2004.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included the Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin, had requested a $30 million monthly bond be paid into an account until the case is resolved.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that evidence the Arab entities coffers are not in danger of collapse is the continued payment by them to jailed terrorists and the families of PLO members who died during terrorist attacks. That practice continues to this day.
Lawyers for the defendants had originally asked the court not to impose any bail at all. During the hearing on Monday, a lawyer for the Palestinian Arabs suggested his clients would be able to deposit $10 million by next month and continue depositing $1 million per month.
An attorney for the plaintiffs dropped the demand during Monday’s hearing to $20 million per month, following an initial deposit of $30 million. That attorney, Kent Yalowitz, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism that he was “disappointed” in the size of the bond. He called it a “token amount” for the defendants.Lori Lowenthal Marcus