First time: Court relies on Nationality Law

J'lem district court judge obligates Hamas to pay 5.4 million shekels to man injured in 1998 attack - citing clause in Nationality Law.

Ido Ben Porat,

Gavel (illustration)
Gavel (illustration)
iStock

The Jerusalem District Court ruled that Hamas must pay more than NIS 5 million to a man seriously injured in a 1998 terror attack in Tel Aviv who had sued the terrorist organization.

In an unprecedented manner, Justice Moshe Drori relied in his judgment on a clause that appears in the Nationality Law: "The State shall strive to ensure the well-being of the Jewish people and of its citizens who are in distress due to their Jewishness or citizenship."

The attack took place in 1998 on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv. A bomb planted in a garbage can exploded and injured 16 people, among them the complainant, who was seriously injured and was recognized as a 100% disabled person according to the National Insurance Institute.

According to the law, a disabled person who is entitled to an allowance from the National Insurance Institute cannot receive additional benefits. Judge Drori ruled that Hamas was responsible for the attack because the terrorists admitted to carrying out and planning the attack. Drori's ruling allows the plaintiff to receive money from Hamas for his injury without having to reimburse the state for National Insurance funds.

"Anyone who reads the Hamas charter will find out what the trouble and the danger to the Jews is in the wake of this organization," wrote Drori. "The Jewish people, and certainly when they are in Israel, are defined as ‘in distress due to their Jewishness.’"

As stated, the judge relied on the Nationality Law, which states that "The State shall strive to ensure the well-being of the Jewish people. According to Drori, since the state did not succeed in preventing Hamas from carrying out the attack, the clause in the Nationality Law has remains applicable as a kind of alternative remedy and is intended to encourage - certainly not to disturb - a Jew injured in a terrorist attack by Hamas in receiving the maximum compensation possible under the Israeli legal system.”

At the end of the judgment, Drori emphasized: "We, the judges - as part of the government authorities in the State of Israel - are obligated to apply and implement the Basic Law: Israel - the Nation-State of the Jewish people."




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