Terror victims’ family members sue PA for damages

Members of the Fogel family, whose parents and three siblings were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, are suing the PA for encouraging the attack. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Tamar Fogel and her two brothers Roi and Yishai, whose parents and three siblings were murdered in a shocking Palestinian terror attack in the Israeli community of Itamar, Samaria, seven years ago recently filed a law suit against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the PLO for encouraging the terrorists and paying them salaries during their imprisonment.

Israel’s Yedioth Aharonoth reported Monday that the family, through a suit filed in the Jerusalem District Court, is suing the PA for NIS 400 million ($115 million) for inciting terrorism and supporting it through stipends paid to the terrorists.

“Even to this day, the terrorists are receiving inflated salaries from the Palestinian Authority, which is contrary to all logic and justice. In filing this suit, we seek to send a message in the name of anyone with a human heart,” the Fogel family said in the suit.

Two Palestinians, Hakim Awad and Amjad Awad, armed with knives broke into the Fogel family home in Itamar as they slept on Friday night. They butchered the mother Ruth, 35, father Udi, 36, and three of their children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month-old Hadas, as she slept in her crib. Tamar was out with her youth group during the attack.

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The terrorists were captured a month after the murder. Hakim Awad was sentenced to five life sentences. Amjad Awad was sentenced to five life sentences plus seven years.

The Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin – an Israeli organization that fights terrorism in court, filed a suit for the family. The grandparents on both sides and the siblings of the parents have also joined in the suit.

The suit was filed against the two terrorists, another five Palestinians who assisted them, as well  as the PLO and PA for inciting the attack, and the PA for encouraging terrorism through the payment of stipends.

Some seven percent of the PA budget, largely funded by American and European aid, is directed by Palestinian legislation to pay salaries and benefits to Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to allowances for Palestinian families whose relatives have been killed or injured while perpetrating terrorist attacks.

These payments, amounting to more than NIS 1.1 billion ($350 million) per year, are funneled through the Palestinian Authority Martyrs’ Fund, which was transferred to the PLO in 2014 in an attempt to divert criticism.

“The PLO and Palestinian Authority knew, or should have known, that when they paid and pay every terrorist who murdered Jews…and served time in an Israeli prison a monthly stipend by law…this policy brought without a doubt the assault of individuals, as in this case,” the suit says.

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The Palestinian Authority’s incitement is believed to be partially responsible for the Itamar massacre. On the day before the Fogel massacre, Sabri Saidam, adviser to PA head Mahmoud Abbas and under-secretary of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Palestinians in a speech that “the weapons must be turned towards the main enemy [Israel] and that internal differences of opinion must be set aside.”

Saidam also called for the naming of another public square in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre that left dozens of Israelis dead, including 13 children, and voiced his dissatisfaction that the stipends given to families of terrorists are not higher.

Following the Fogel massacre, PA TV interviewed relatives of Hakim Awad, who glorified what he did. Hakim Awad’s mother is quoted as stating, “my greetings to dear Hakim, the apple of my eye, who carried out the operation in Itamar, sentenced to five life sentences.” His aunt reportedly referred to him as a “hero” and a “legend.”

Shurat HaDin head Nitsana Darshan-Leitner declared that “even if seven years have passed since the horrible massacre and shocking scenes, we will not forget nor forgive.”

“The PA should know that it cannot continue to pay funds to the murderers of babies and walk away clean,” she stressed.