An appeal court presided over by a jury of three has overturned the earlier verdict of a district court over the death of a security contractor, Mark Parsons, who died alongside three others while on official duty providing security to staff of the State Department on a trip to Gaza Strip in October 2003. A lower court had dismissed the case as lacking material evidence, on the basis that the Palestinian Authority could not be held accountable for this particular case since it could not be proved that it had a hand in this particular bombing.
But conspiracy theories have produced to prove that the PA could have a foreknowledge of this bombing. This was brought to the fore when the PA arrested 6 suspects following investigations into the bombing, and one of them, Amer Qarmout, a top member of the Popular Resistance Committee has stated that he had employed some persons to plant the roadside bomb that exploded and killed Parsons and some colleagues. He however stated that the exact place was not far from a Palestinian checkpoint but had persuaded security officials at the checkpoint to disregard the dug marks at the point where the bombs were planted. This fuels the conspiracy theory that the Palestinian Authority knew something, but turned a blind eye until American citizens were bombed.
The incidence happened when Mark Parsons provided security to staff of the State Department when they embarked on a journey of the Gaza Strip to interview Palestinian applicants who had applied for the Fulbright Scholarship. Their vehicle exploded from the bomb planted along the road, just as the convoy had gone a little way beyond the Jabaliya refugee camp. The aggrieved family of Mark Parsons, including his brother, John Parsons, had filed a case to sue the Palestinian Authority, but according to family, a tussle that smirked of a conspiracy theory had developed between the State Department and the FBI, and this has debarred any progress into investigating the case. To further compound the conspiracy theory angle, John Parsons was told last year October that the case was closed and there was nothing they could do about it. This development has been seen to be a conspiracy theory between the FBI and the State Department, the lower court that gave a negative impasse ruling, and the Palestinian Authority over the death of Mark Parsons – but thanks to the District of Columbia’s Court of Appeal, that have given the green to sue the Palestinian government over the incidence.