Israel puts many obstacles ahead of Palestinians planning to sue it


From 2002-2006, there was an annual average of 300 new lawsuits, whereas from 2012-2016, there was an average of only 18 claims – a drop of nearly 95 per cent

For more than 20 years, Israel has evaded compensating Palestinians for damages resulted of Israeli occupation actions, B’Tselem report said on Wednesday.

Israeli occupation has “taken measures to guarantee a nearly blanket exemption from its obligation under international law to pay compensation to Palestinians harmed by its occupation forces,” the report said.

The report discusses the development of this “practice,” linking it to a major drop in the number of damages claims filed by Palestinians in recent years, and focuses on cases where the Israeli occupation may not have committed a crime.

B’Tselem argues that a range of carefully planned legal moves by the Israeli occupation Knesset, the courts and relevant ministries have created obstacles to Palestinian lawsuits and “reflects how little value it [Israel] places on the lives, bodies and property of Palestinians living under its control.”

The group claims that Israeli actions have “lowered the price to be paid for harm to Palestinians while maintaining a false show of a functioning justice system.”

Evidence provided in the report includes data obtained from the Israeli defence ministry, such as from 1997-2001, Israel paid an annual average of NIS 21.6 million to Palestinians who sued for civil damages compared to NIS 3.8 million from 2012-2016, representing a decline of more than 80 per cent.

The report says that following this low rate of success, Palestinians have all but stopped filing new claims with the courts.

From 2002-2006, there was an annual average of 300 new lawsuits, whereas from 2012-2016, there was an average of only 18 claims – a drop of nearly 95 per cent.

B’Tselem said that Israel had introduced a series of procedural and evidentiary roadblocks, rendering “virtually non-existent the chances of Palestinian plaintiffs currently getting compensation for the harm they suffered.”

The roadblocks include having to front tens of thousands of shekels to guarantee the state’s expenses if the lawsuits fail, a requirement to notify the state within 60 days of an incident and a statute of limitations of only two years to sue, even as other similar cases in Israel would have seven years to sue.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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