Despite signing a peace agreement with Israel 15 years ago, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) argued in an American court recently that it is still in a state of legitimate armed conflict with the Jewish state, and therefore any attacks on Israelis must be considered acts of war.
Lawyers for the PLO presented that argument in a US District Court as a defense against the charges of American victims of two shooting and five bombing attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem between 2001 and 2004. Over 300 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in those attacks.
The PLO's defense team insisted that the attacks do not "meet the statutory definition of 'international terrorism.'"
The presiding judge rejected the PLO's argument.
The plaintiff's are seeking $3 billion in damages.
While the label PLO is not often used today, it remains the ruling body within the Palestinian Authority that was created by so-called "Oslo Accords" in 1993. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is chairman of both the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.