Earlier, a federal district court dismissed the suit. The lower court
said the PA could not be held liable for the "alleged criminal acts of a few
But the three-judge appeals court said on Aug. 14 that the suit was
legitimate and could be filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991. Parsons'
family claimed that the PA facilitated the attack and tampered with evidence
after the convoy bombing. The PA was also said to have supplied explosives
to the bombers as well as information on when the U.S. convoy would arrive.
The Popular Resistance Committee claimed responsibility for the bombing,
a claim confirmed by Israel and the PA. A PRC member said PA officers were
asked to ignore the planting of the bomb along the main road to Gaza City.
At one point, the PA arrested six suspects in the bombing, including PRC
commander Amr Qarmout. Qarmout, said to have admitted to possessing bombs
that killed Parsons, was eventually released.
On Aug. 16, the State Department designated an alleged Al Qaida-aligned
insurgent as a terrorist banned from conducting business with Americans. The
department cited Mumtaz Dughmoush, commander of the Army of Islam, which
operates in the Gaza Strip and said to be linked to the Hamas regime.