Jerusalem – Fourteen relatives of terror victims filed a “mega lawsuit” for 450,000,000 NIS on Wednesday against the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO and imprisoned Fatah Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti.

The civil suit also named seven other terrorists who are currently serving sentences for their involvement in numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. It was filed in the District Court in Jerusalem.

The plaintiffs are relatives of the late Mr. Ronen Landau and Ms. Yoela Chen, residents of Givat Ze’ev, who were murdered seven years ago in two separate terrorist attacks near the community of Givat Ze’ev (north of Jerusalem).

Ronen Landau, age 17, was murdered in an ambush on the Ramot-Givat Ze’ev road, while driving with his father in a car, on his way home from a movie in Jerusalem. Ms. Chen, age 45, was shot from short-range next to the “Givonim” gas station near Givat Ze’ev, on her way to a relative’s wedding.

Mr. Marwan Barghouti, head of the Fatah Tanzim, who is currently serving five consecutive life-sentences plus 40 years for his responsibility in numerous deadly terror attacks, was the commander of the terrorists who carried out the murders of Mr. Landau and Ms. Chen. The Tel-Aviv District Court has already convicted Mr. Barghouti of Ms. Chen’s murder. Mr. Ahmed Barghouti, Marwan’s accomplice in planning the terror attacks and in organizing the terrorists who carried out the shootings, is being charged as well.

The Landau and Chen families are represented by attorney Ms. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat Hadi-Israel Law Center.

The families contend Marwan Barghouti organized the terror attacks against Israeli civilian targets and conspired with senior Fatah Tanzim terrorists, who were in charge of actually carrying out the attacks – including the ones which killed Mr. Landau and Ms. Chen. As such, the families contend, Mr. Barghouti enacted a predetermined policy of utilizing terror, confirmed by the PA and Yasser Arafat, to whom Mr. Barghouti personally reported.

According to the attorney, Ms. Darshan-Leitner: “We are demanding that the court set a high and painful price tag for the physical injuries and emotional damages inflicted upon residents of Israel by the terrorists, so that the Palestinians will understand that Jewish blood is not cheap. We have conclusive proof tying the PA and its senior officials to these terror attacks near Givat-Ze’ev, as well as many other attacks. We also have clear evidence of Marwan Barghouti’s personal responsibility for the murders of Ronen Landau and Yoela Chen. Barghouti is a convicted criminal and murderer and should be treated as such. Barghouti’s involvement in these heinous crimes should always be remembered, especially these days when some politicians call for this mass murderer’s release from prison. Securing justice for Landau and Chen’s families against the Palestinians is securing justice for all the residents of Israel.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.