Court orders Palestinian Authority, terrorists to pay victims’ families millions

Israeli court holds Palestinian Authority liable, along with the perpetrators,  for an attack during the Second Intifada that left three Israelis dead.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ruled Friday that the murderers of Sharon and Yaniv Ben Shalom and Sharon’s brother Doron Zvori on August 25, 2001, must pay NIS 62 million to the survivors and the victims’ families. This brings to an end the civil wrongful death suit that the families brought against the PLO and PA in 2009, in which they asked for NIS 559 million in damages.

The three adults were killed as they drove back from Eilat on Route 443 to their home in central Israel, when six Arabs drew alongside them and opened fire. The Ben Shalom’s two infants, Efrat and Shahar, were also in the car, but they were saved because their mother protected them from the bullets with her body.

One of the defendants named in the lawsuit is senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. He is currently serving five consecutive life terms plus 40 years for his terrorist activity. In its decision, the court said the plaintiffs had proved that he knew about the attack and was briefed about it afterward. Barghouti’s name, it should be recalled, has been bandied about as a possible successor to Mahmoud Abbas as future leader of the Palestinian Authority.

The determination of the amount of damages to be paid comes three years after Judge Drori had ruled that the PA was also civilly liable for the shooting, having induced the terror cell to carry out the attack and supplied the weapons, as well as giving them financial support.

The breakdown is as follows: NIS 10 million to the estates of each of those killed, NIS 6 million to each orphan, and NIS 5 million to each parent of the murder victims. Of this amount, 40 percent should be paid by the PA and 60 percent by the terrorists themselves. In the same proportions, they will have to pay the legal costs of the trial, which adds another NIS 12.4 million to their obligation.

It is unclear, however, how the Ben Shalom and Zvori familes will be able to collect the damages, and whether the Israeli government will try to help them do so.