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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

US court upholds lawsuit against Hamas; says Palestine is not a state

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected the Palestinian Authority's claim that it enjoyed sovereign immunity and upheld a lower court ruling ordering it to pay $116 million to the estate of Hamas terror victim Yaron Ungar.

"The defendants [The PA and the PLO] argue that the state of Palestine exists," wrote the court, "that they constitute core elements of the state and that therefore they are immune from suit. This argument has a quicksilver quality. It is hard to pin down exactly when or how the defendants assert that Palestine achieved statehood...

"We recognize that the status of the Palestinian territories is in many ways sui generis (exceptional). Here, however, the defendants have not carried their burden of showing that Palestine satisfied the requirements for statehood under the applicable principles of international law at any time."