The Jerusalem District Court ordered Hamas to pay NIS 100 million (about USD 22 million) to 10 relatives of victims killed by a Hamas terrorist during Passover 2002.
The lawsuit was debated in the absence of any Hamas representation. In the past, other courts, particularly in the United States, ordered hundreds of millions of dollars to be paid to Israeli terror victims, but at this time there is no way to collect the money.
In March 2002, a Hamas terrorist stormed the house of the Gavish family in the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh and opened fire. The attack claimed the lives of Rachel and David Gavish, their son Abraham, 25, and Rachel's father Yitzhak Kaner, 74.
In the lawsuit, the Gavishs' six surviving children, as well as four other relatives, asked judges for compensation to the tune of NIS 176 million (about USD 40 million.) During the trial, the children recounted the nightmare they went through on the night of the murder and later on. The relatives submitted a financial analysis detailing lost earnings as a result of the murders.
In the decision, Judge Aharon Farkash wrote that "we're talking about an act of terror that was done intentionally and with full awareness in order to cause the death of the deceased and harm their families. The act was premised on pure hatred that led to the death of the deceased and to a very difficult traumatic experience for the plaintiffs."
"The overall sum is appropriate, even though it cannot dull the pain of the plaintiffs' …who'll be dealing with the difficult trauma their entire lives," the judge wrote.