In 2002 Mark Sokolow, a Cedarhurst resident, along with his wife and daughters were injured in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2002. He and his family began the process of seeking civil redress from the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority in 2004 under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992.
Several of the officers who were tied to the planning and execution of these plans have already been tried and sentenced to life sentences, yet according to a statement from Sokolow’s Congressional representative, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), those officers receive salaries from the PLO and PA.
A jury in the Southern District of New York found the PLO and PA liable to give compensation to the victims in 2015. However, in 2016 the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan dismissed the verdict on the grounds of lacking jurisdiction over terrorist attacks abroad.
The Sokolows have since asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the verdict of the Appeals Court, but the nation’s highest court has requested the Trump administration’s perspective of the case before advancing. In response, Rice and a bipartisan group of 66 House members have sent a letter to the Solicitor General, Noel Francisco, urging him to move forward with his assessment.
Hoping that this sort of civil compensation will both deter attacks and help the victims of the attacks. “As Members of Congress, we have a compelling interest to speak out in defense of the ATA, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and in support of these American victims waiting for justice. We also seek to prevent future victims,” the House members wrote to the Solicitor General.