American Citizen Suing New Palestinian PM

By Julie Stahl | July 7, 2008 | 8:13 PM EDT

Jerusalem ( - An American-Israeli citizen is filing lawsuits in Israel and the U.S. against Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas because, she claims, he ordered the terrorist murder of her daughter and son-in-law.

Dina Horowitz and her husband Rabbi Eli Horowitz were murdered by Palestinian gunmen who burst into their home on March 7, 2003, as they sat at their dinner table celebrating the Sabbath in Kiryat Arba, just outside of the West Bank city of Hebron.

Dina and Eli were both born in the United States. Dina's mother Bernice Wolf, 78, is a dual American-Israeli citizen, who has lived here for 15 years.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Wolf said in a telephone interview. "My whole life is shattered."

Wolf said she wants to meet with President Bush "to ask him to explain to me why [Abbas], who ordered the murder of my daughter and financed the murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes, should come and be a peace negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians."

This week, news reports indicated that Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen) had financed the PLO faction called Black September when the group attacked Israeli athletes and their coaches at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Eleven athletes and their coaches were killed, some during a botched German rescue operation.

Wolf noted that just days before her daughter and son-in-law were murdered, Abbas said in newspaper interviews that it was permissible to murder Jews who lived in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In an interview published on the website of the Arabic newspaper Al Sharq Alawsat on March 3, 2003, Abbas spoke about the Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire talks with all the Palestinian militant factions.

"On the basis of the talks held in Cairo [between the different Palestinian factions] we agreed upon the freezing of Palestinian military operations [terrorist attacks] for one year," Abbas was quoted as saying in translated excerpts, which appeared originally on the Israeli army's website.

"This, on the condition that the chief Egyptian mediators receive [Israeli] guarantees about an Israeli military cease-fire, a cessation of arrests [of Palestinian terrorists] and on the withdrawal [of the army] to their positions before September 28, 2000...

"We did not say, however, that we are giving up the armed struggle. It is our right to resist. The intifada must continue. It is the right of the Palestinian people to resist and use all possible means in order to defend its presence and existence. I add and say that if the Israelis come to your land in order to erect a settlement, then it is your
right to defend what is yours...

"The restriction applies only to "shahada-seeking" [suicide] operations and going out to attack in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. There is no justification to go out [of the territories] to fight the army," he said.

Several days later, Palestinian Legislative Council member Qadura Fares confirmed in a radio interview that "resistance to the occupation" was legitimate and would continue until the Palestinians believed that serious negotiations to end what they consider the Israeli occupation were underway, according to the Independent Media Review and Analysis website.

Wolf delivered a letter on Thursday to the U.S. Consulate in eastern Jerusalem, which deals with Palestinian affairs, informing the U.S. government that she had filed a suit against Abbas in Israel.

"I have asked the Israeli government [to] indict Abu Mazen for the direct complicity in the cold-blooded murder of my daughter, Dina Horowitz and my son-in-law, Rabbi Eli Horowitz," Wolf wrote.

"My children were murdered by a PLO terrorist...four days after Abu Mazen declared that it was permissible to murder Jews who live in [the West Bank and Gaza Strip].

"I formally request that the U.S. government cut off all ties to Abu Mazen, since Abu Mazen continues to advocate the murder of Jews," she wrote.

In Israel, Wolf is asking that the Israeli government indict Abbas, as the head of the PLO Executive Committee, for incitement to murder.

In the U.S. Wolf plans to sue Abbas and the PLO for damages.

Abbas and his government were sworn in on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he denounced terrorism and pledged to collect illegal weapons in a speech before the PLC. Israeli officials have said they are waiting to see if he has the will and ability to stop terrorism before passing judgment.