US court orders Syria to pay $330 million to bereaved family of 2006 TA suicide bombing (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By RAPHAEL AHREN 05/15/12)
TIMES OF ISRAEL
TIMES OF ISRAEL Articles-Index-Top
‘Justice was done,’ says attorney who helped relatives of Daniel
Wultz, 16, win landmark suit
A Washington, D.C. court has awarded $332 million in damages to an
American-Jewish family whose 16-year-old son was killed in a 2006
suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The court found Syria guilty of having
supported the Palestinian terror group behind the attack and thus
ordered Damascus to pay the damages.
“It’s a great feeling. Justice was done for the terror victims,” said
activist attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads Shurat HaDin —
Israel Law Center, Tuesday. The Israeli civil rights organization
sues terror groups and their sponsors in courtrooms worldwide and
helped the bereaved Wultz family in their legal struggle, which ended
this week. The amount of $332 million awarded by the court on Monday —
mistakenly reported as $323 million by some media outlets — was one
of the largest sums the group has ever won in a law suit, she said,
and marks the first time Syria has been held responsible for damages.
On April 17, 2006, Daniel Wultz, of Weston, Florida, sat down with
his parents in Tel Aviv’s “Rosh Ha’ir” shawarma restaurant, near the
city’s old central bus station, to enjoy one of his favorite dishes.
In the middle of lunch, at around 1:30 p.m., Sami Salim Mohammed
Hammed of Jenin detonated five kilos of explosives in a bag packed
with nails and metal shards, killing Wultz and 10 others. More than
60 people were wounded in the attack, including Wultz’s Israeli-born
father Yekutiel. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Wultz’s mother Sheryl and other family members filed a suit against
the Syrian and Iranian governments and intelligence agencies. In the
case, filed three years ago in the United States District Court for
Washington D.C., the family and Shurat HaDin argued that the Syrians
were liable “for their provision of material support and resources”
to the Palestinian terrorist group, according to court documents.
While her group has won suits against Iran in the past, this week’s
decision marks the first time a court held Syria liable for
sponsoring terrorism, Darshan-Leitner said.
“It shows that you can impose law on an lawless regime like Syria. It
proves that even non-democratic states can be brought into democratic
frameworks in a democratic system,” she told The Times of Israel on
Tuesday. Since the judgment was handed down against Syria, it will be
enforced “against Syrian assets” — such as US-based real estate, bank
accounts and companies in the US that belong to the government in
Damascus — Darshan-Leitner said.
“When a state chooses to use terror as a policy tool — as Iran and
Syria continue to do — that state forfeits its sovereign immunity and
deserves unadorned condemnation,” District Court Judge Royce Lamberth
ruled, according to the Associated Press. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY