A federal court in California has handed down an unprecedented judgment, allowing victims of Iranian-financed terror operations in Israel to seek compensation through the seizure of Iranian assets in the U.S., The Jerusalem Post reported.
The decision was made in a case against Iran stemming from a 1997 triple suicide bombing in Yerushalayim. On September 4, 1997, three Hamas operatives set off explosives attached to their bodies as they stood in the crowded Ben Yehuda Street promenade in mid-afternoon, killing five Israelis and wounding scores of others. Three of those killed were 14-year-old girls.
Families of five victims of the attack won a $9 million judgment on November 27, the first time that terror victims have located Iranian assets in the U.S. which could actually be transferred to them.
“This is a tremendous victory for the victims of Islamic terrorism,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center, which representated the families, said in a statement. “While the the U.S. and EU are rushing out to economically bolster the outlaw regime in Tehran, we and the families we represent do not forgive nor forget the Iranian-funded terror that devastated Israel.”
However, the court rejected Shurat Hadin’s request for immediate transfer of the funds, awaiting file of appeal by Iran. Such an appeal, in a complex legal case of this type, could take a long time.
In addition, the court noted any final transfer of the funds would have to take into account the current diplomatic process with Iran, another potential roadblock.