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Court: IDF Does Not Have to Compensate for Gaza Attack

The IDF does not have to compensate the family of a Gaza Arab killed during an IDF raid against terrorists, a court ruled Thursday.
By David Lev
First Publish: 10/27/2011, 11:51 AM

IDF patrol
IDF patrol
IDF

The IDF does not have to compensate the family of a Gaza Arab woman who was killed during an army raid against a terrorist nest in Gaza. The Jerusalem District Court on Thurday threw out a lawsuit by the family of Fatima and Khaled Wahba, a mother and child who were accidentally killed during a raid against terrorists in southern Gaza in 2006.

According to the lawsuit, an Israeli missile hit the home where the Wahbas were staying in southern Gaza. The IDF said that the missile had been meant for a vehicle carrying several terrorists.

Attorneys for the IDF sought to have the case dismissed as soon as it was filed, considering that the incident occurred during an Israeli action against terrorists, a defensive situation in which the army cannot take responsibility for civilians who do not take cover in battle areas.

In the vehicle were several wanted terrorists, one of whom was to carry out an attack against Israel in the coming days, the IDF said.

The court ruled that the evidence presented clearly showed that the army's description of the events was accurate, and that the Wahbas were unfortunate wartime civilian casualties whose home was not targeted. As such, the state has no financial responsibility to the plaintiffs.

Not only that; the court ruled that due to the actions of the terrorists, the army had had no choice but to attack the terrorists in the manner that it did, and that by doing so it put soldiers at greater risk than other methods of stopping the terrorists would have entailed – thus likely saving the lives of many more Gaza Arabs.

In the 2006 incident, the missile that hit the Wahba's residence did not fall far from where the vehicle carrying the terrorists was traveling, indicating that the terrorists had driven very close to the homes of civilians in Gaza – apparently seeking to use the civilians as human shields against IDF attack.

Terrorists often take advantage of civilians, taking cover with them and using them for general protection, because they know that the IDF almost never fires directly on structures where it knows civilians are located.

The court obligated the members of the Wahba family who brought the lawsuit to pay NIS 25,000 in court costs.