A point of privilege

On February 16, 2002, a Palestinian terrorist blew himself up in a packed pizzeria in the Israeli town of Karnei Shomron, killing American citizens Keren Shatsky, 15, and Rachel Thaler, 16 and Israeli teenager Nehemia Amar, 15. The Israel Law Center does not want to forget what was revealed in the apparently privileged document inadvertently produced by the Palestinian Authority/PLO in the lawsuit brought against them in federal court by the parents of the murdered American teenagers:

A US court has ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has the right to cover up a document linking it to a 2002 suicide bombing that killed two Americans and one Israeli teenager. The suicide bombing was perpetrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a constituent faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The secret memo was mistakenly given to lawyers representing the teens’ parents as plaintiffs in a $300 million lawsuit against the PA and PLO. The case is being tried in a Washington, DC federal court, with plaintiffs represented by New York attorneys David Schoen and Robert Tolchin and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv’s Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center. The families contend that they have evidence that the PA provides funding to the PLO and PFLP, including paying the rent for the designated terrorist group’s offices in the West Bank.

According to media reports, the memo reveals a close relationship between the bomber and a PA security officer who planned the suicide attack. The document, written by Major Ziad Abu Hamid of the PA’s intelligence service, additionally supports the plaintiffs’ allegations that the PA provided material support and resources for the PFLP bombing which took the lives of the three teens and seriously injured numerous others.

Once attorneys for the defendants realized their mistake they sought to retrieve the document from the plaintiffs insisting it was privileged. The attorneys for the plaintiffs, however, argued that the memo was evidence in the murder of American citizens and should not be returned to the Palestinians nor destroyed. The defendants then asked the district court judge to compel the plaintiffs to destroy the memo. In a recent ruling, the court surprisingly granted the defendants’ motion and ordered the plaintiffs to destroy the document. The terror victims’ families have now filed for a stay of that order pending an appeal to the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

More here.

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