New Hurdle for Family of Israel Attack Victim
(CN) - A family suing the Palestinian Authority over the 2002 shooting of a kindergarten teacher in Israel may stumble in confronting recent Supreme Court precedent, a federal judge ruled.
In 2004, the family of Esther Klieman sued the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Fatah and other entities allegedly connected to an attack on a public bus near Neve Tzuf, Israel, where gunmen ambushed and killed Klieman on her way to work.
Tamer Rimawi eventually confessed to committing the murder as a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades but later threw a wrench in the case by disavowing those statements.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola asked the Directorate of Courts in Jerusalem two years ago for help deposing the Israeli investigators, releasing all documents related to the shooting and seeking any evidence of coercion in Rimawi's interrogation.
The case dragged on as the family sought footage from a BBC documentary about the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and were caught in a discovery violation.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court erected a new hurdle in the case with its resolution of an unrelated case.
The mostly unanimous justices found in January that Daimler AG could not be sued in the United States for complicity in Argentina's Dirty War, even though it had a Mercedes-Benz USA subsidiary in California.
The Palestinian Authority renewed its bid to throw out the case in light of the decision.
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman asked the parties Friday to argue whether the current lawsuit "is related to or 'arises out of'" the defendants' contact with the United States.
Lawyers for the parties have not immediately returned requests for comment.