15 February 2011
The Palestinian Authority has settled a lawsuit brought in the US state of Rhode Island over the killing of an American couple in Israel by Hamas gunmen in 1996. However, the court papers do not reveal the terms of the settlement, and it is unclear how much, if any, money the Palestinian Authority offered to resolve the case. The documents also show that a US$ 116 million default judgment entered by a judge against the Palestinian Authority for failing to respond to the lawsuit has been vacated.
Yaron Ungar, a 25-year-old US citizen, and his pregnant wife Efrat, were killed by Palestinian gunmen while returning from a wedding. The infant son Yishai survived the attack unharmed. Family members of the Ungars sued in 2000 in Rhode Island, where the family's lawyer practices. The suit was one of several brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act, a federal statute enacted after a disabled Jewish-American was killed when terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985. The law that allows US citizens to recover damages for terrorists acts committed overseas.
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