CHICAGO – A federal judge Wednesday found two U.S.-based Islamic charities and an alleged fundraiser for the Palestinian militant group Hamas (search) liable for damages in the 1996 shooting death of an American teenager in Israel.
A jury trial in December will determine the amount of damages in the $300 million lawsuit filed by the parents of David Boim (search), a 17-year-old American student who was killed while waiting for a bus in the West Bank.
In a 107-page opinion, Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys held Texas-based Holy Land Foundation (search) and another charity, the Islamic Association for Palestine (search), liable for damages in the shooting.
Keys also held Mohammed Salah (search), a Chicago man currently under indictment in an alleged Hamas fundraising conspiracy, liable for damages in the May 13, 1996, shooting.
"This is a huge win for victims of terrorism," said Stephen J. Landes, an attorney for Stanley and Joyce Boim, former New Yorkers now living in Jerusalem, who brought the suit on behalf of their son and his estate.
The Boims maintain that the charities funded Hamas and therefore financed the violence that led to the death of their son.
Landes said it was the first lawsuit brought against institutions based in the United States for supporting terrorism. A previous case in Rhode Island was brought against the Hamas organization itself but not against U.S.-based institutions, he said.