A United States federal court issued a verdict on Friday ordering Iran to pay $25 million to the family of Nachshon Waxman, the IDF soldier who Hamas terrorists kidnapped and executed while the entire country of Israel united to say Psalms for his rescue.
Waxman, a U.S. citizen who was born in Jerusalem, was 19 years old when terrorists kidnapped him. The terrorists disguised themselves as orthodox Jews in order to lure the soldier into their vehicle while he was hitchhiking near Ben Gurion Airport.
The Waxman family charged that Iran was an accessory to the murder because of its funding of the terrorist organization. The judgment against Tehran was issued after the country refused to respond to the lawsuit.
"The financial support, tactical training and political direction that Iran provided to Hamas proximately caused the abduction and execution of Nachshon," U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina concluded.
The plaintiffs include the dead soldier’s mother, who was awarded $5 million, and six brothers, each of whom were granted $2.5 million. Judge Urbina also ruled that an additional $5 million be paid into the Waxman’s estate for potential earnings and for the pain he endured during his six days of captivity before his captors killed him.
Previous rulings against terrorist organizations often have resulted in non-payment, but the court has the option of seizing Iranian assets in the U.S. to cover the penalty.
The kidnapping shocked the country after Hamas released a videotape of the soldier saying that if the terrorists’ demands were not met, “They will kill me.” Their demands included the release of a Hamas leader and 200 terrorists and prisoners.
IDF special forces located the house where he was being held and raided the building as the terrorists killed Waxman before being eliminated by the commando unit. One soldier also died in the maneuver.
Then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin temporarily halted negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, headed by Yasser Arafat, following the kidnap-murder.
Esther Waxman, mother of the victim, recently wrote outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to state she supported freeing Hamas terrorists in return for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. “After I saw what happened to Gilad Shalit, I was actually happy that my tragic story ended quickly.”
She added that she was expressing herself “as a mother and not an objective citizen.”
The office of the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert replied to her, “The price the government is demanded to pay for the release of Gilad Shalit is difficult and more costly than one can bear.”