A Texas federal court dismissed as frivolous a Palestinian group’s defamation suit against the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor and other groups. Riad el-Solh Hamad, head of Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund, filed suit in September against NGO Monitor, Frontpage Jerusalem, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and others.

Hamad charged the organizations had defamed him, and violated his constitutional and civil rights by linking him and his charity in newspaper and Internet articles to Islamic terrorism. In addition to dismissing Hamad’s claims as "baseless" and "groundless," U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks last week leveled sanctions against Hamad and ordered him to pay defendants’ attorney’s fees and costs of nearly $60,000, as well as a $1,000 fine to each defendant for Hamad’s repeated violation of court orders. "This was a clear attempt to use the courts and intimidation to prevent independent analysis and exposure of the incitement by anti-Israel NGOs," Gerald Steinberg, executive director of NGO Monitor, said in a statement.  "This strategy has now been rejected."

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