A United States district court ruled Tuesday that Iran and Syria must pay $178 million in damages to the family of a three-month-old baby who was killed in an October 2014 terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
Chaya Zissel Braun, who held both American and Israeli citizenship, was killed when Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi, a Hamas terrorist from eastern Jerusalem, rammed his car into a crowd of people at the Ammunition Hill light rail station. The vehicle hit Braun’s stroller, killing her and seriously injuring her father Shmuel. Keren Yamima Mosquera, a 22-year-old Ecuadorian woman, was also killed in the incident.
Both Hamas and Fatah, the political party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, subsequently praised al-Shaloudi.
At the trial, expert witnesses for the plaintiffs established that Iran and Syria had provided material support to Hamas, which acknowledged prior to the attack that al-Shaloudi was its operative. The court ordered a default judgment against the two state-sponsors of terrorism.
The lawsuit was brought to the Washington, D.C., District Court on behalf of Braun’s parents, Shmuel and Hanna. The family was represented by Nitsana Darsan-Leitner, director of Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center.
“This ruling sends a clear message that the heavy price will be imposed on anyone who finances terror and spills the blood of innocents,” said Darshan-Leitner, whose NGO seeks to wage a legal struggle against global terror. “We will continue to constantly pursue Syria and Iran through any legal means at our disposal to ensure that the victims of terror have justice.”