A federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday threw out a multimillion-dollar judgment awarded to a group of U.S. terrorism victims, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The court determined that the United States lacked jurisdiction over a lawsuit brought by the victims against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
The ruling is a significant setback for the 10 American families who sued over terrorist attacks in Israel during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s that left 33 dead and more than 400 injured.
After a trial in Manhattan federal court last year, jurors found the PLO and Palestinian Authority liable for the attacks and ordered the groups to pay the families $218.5 million, which was automatically tripled to $655.5 million under a U.S. anti-terrorism law.
The PA subsequently appealed the verdict while the PLO later said it “lacks the funds” to pay the compensation.
But on Wednesday, three judges for the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case, saying there wasn’t enough of a connection between the U.S. and the Israel attacks.
There is no U.S. jurisdiction in this case, “no matter how horrendous the underlying attacks or morally compelling the plaintiffs’ claims,” wrote Judge John Koetl, according to The Wall Street Journal.