S., a Border Policeman, participated in a raid in Silwan in eastern Jerusalem last year.
During the operation, a terrorist ambushed the patrol from one of the nearby rooftops, throwing stones, bricks and other objects at the soldiers, hitting S. in the face before he was rushed to the hospital, where he required medical treatment under partial anaesthesia.
The terrorist was arrested, tried, and convicted of offenses involving grievous bodily harm, aggravated assault, and threatening soldiers.
Now, after the terrorist's conviction in the criminal case, S. is suing the perpetrator in a civil lawsuit with the help of the Honenu organization which protects Jewish rights. The plaintiff is demanding NIS 180,000 in compensation for damages caused to him and his family.
"As part of his role as a Border Police officer, the plaintiff took part in operational activities in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem. During the operation, the terrorist climbed the roof of his family's home several meters from where the soldiers were operating, throwing a large number of stones and bricks at them," reads the indictment.
"In response, police officers made efforts to neutralize the terrorist hiding on the roof. Border police used 'sponge' and gas grenades, but to no avail, as the he continued to throw stones at them. One of the bricks hit the plaintiff in the head. As a result of the injury, his nose was broken and a stream of blood covered his face, with a deep cut about two cm wide opening up. Other officers at the scene rushed the plaintiff to Sha'are Tzedek Medical Center, where he required painful and prolonged treatment under anesthesia," continues the lawsuit.
According to Attorney Ophir Steiner representing the injured soldier, the complex injury caused a variety of problems for S, who suffered from immense pain during the injury and consequent treatment, as well as the coming days, while waiting for his nose to recover from the fracture.
"The enormous pressure he felt when a stone was thrown directly in his face and blood streamed down his head during a military operation in a hostile environment added to his pain and suffering," state the charges.
The lawsuit also points out that the injury has had long-term effects on S.'s health - and continue to negatively affect his personal life. Therefore, in the lawsuit, S. demands adequate compensation for all the damages caused to him as a result of the attack as well as legal expenses.
Steiner adds that: "there is a misconception that when a soldier or police officer leaves the field of battle, he cannot sue those who tried to harm him. Thus, a feeling of immunity permeates criminal and terrorist circles, who feel that the worst that can come of their actions is prosecution at the hands of the State. This perception is inconsistent with the principle of equality before the law."
"Every individual who harms someone else realizes that if taken to court, they will be required to compensate the injured party. But for some reason, terrorists have received preferential treatment. Our goal is to ensure every serviceman injured during operational activity can stand up for themselves and take the attackers to court. This will contribute to general deterrence and soldiers being awarded damages that are not always provided by the State," concludes the attorney.