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Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat will have to pay the Egged bus cooperative NIS 52 million in damages as a result of the loss of a year's income during the intifada, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled yesterday.

Egged sued the PA and Arafat three months ago for loss of income due to terrorist attacks and suicide bombings on buses. Egged claimed the attacks had caused severe damages to the company, deterring many passengers from taking buses. Since the start of the intifada, 53 attacks have been carried out on Egged buses, 20 of them by suicide bombers, resulting in the death of 200 people.

Egged claimed that 15-20 percent of its passengers had stopped using buses as a direct result of these incidents.

At Egged's request, the court placed a lien on PA funds held in Israel and also charged Arafat with NIS 100,000 in court expenses.