November 28, 2005
Supreme Court Passes Up PLO Case
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 11:04 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court refused Monday to
overturn a $116 million judgment against the Palestine Liberation Organization in the deaths of a Jewish couple near the West Bank.
The PLO, and its governmental entity, 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 Islamic militant 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 Yasser Arafat and others.
Former 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 U.N. Mission building in New York.
Clark said U.S. courts ''are marching off to the conflicts
of the Middle East and elsewhere carrying with them the integrity of the U.S. judiciary and risking the foreign perception that U.S. courts will extend their jurisdiction globally deciding the most sensitive political questions affecting the foreign policies of the U.S. and other nations as they go.''
The case is Palestine Liberation Organization v. Ungar,