Americans Sue Arafat over 1985 Ship Hijacking

Published June 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Two Americans sued Monday Palestinian president Yasser Arafat for their suffering in the 1985 hijacking of a cruise ship, in which an elderly American who used a wheelchair was killed, reported the Associated Press.  

AP said that lawyer Avi Leitner filed a suit claiming $5 million in damages from Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian group that hijacked the ship Achille Lauro off the coast of Egypt in 1985.  

The plaintiffs are Sophie Chasser, 84, from Hollywood and Ann Schneider, 87, of New York, Leitner told the agency.  

He was quoted as saying that he filed the suit "after hearing that Abbas, who is free in Gaza, has been in Jerusalem to attend Palestinian meetings recently."  

Leitner, who represents a group called 'Stop Terror', which blames the Palestinian Authority for attacks against Jews, wrote in a news release that the suit "is likely to invoke a harsh Palestinian reaction," as Israel-Palestinian peace talks are at a sensitive stage, added AP - 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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