On April 17, 2006, Daniel Wultz, a sixteen-year-old American citizen, was murdered in an suicide bombing orchestrated by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Ten other individuals were also killed in the explosion and Daniel’s father, Yekutiel Wultz, sustained serious physical injury. The bombing coincided with the elections for Israel’s Knesset and forming of a government by the newly elected Prime Minister. The purported purpose of the attack was to provoke Israel’s new centrist government with a heinous attack and to prevent peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
In the wake of the bombing, Mr. Wultz’s estate and family members brought suit in the D.C. District Court against the Syrian Arab Republic, the Syrian Ministry of Defense, the Syrian Military Intelligence, and the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) for their provision of material and logistical support to the PIJ.
Both Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic defaulted and in February 2012 the Plaintiffs presented evidence in support of their request for default judgment. The defendants were found to be jointly and severally liable for the injuries and deaths that resulted from the 2006 terrorist attack and were ordered to pay over $32 million in compensatory damages and $300 million in punitive damages.
This resolution represented the first time that a U.S. court issued a judgment against Syria for terror-related activities.