PA, terrorists ordered to pay terror victims NIS 62 million
After 16 years, Jerusalem District Court awards terror victims' family compensation for physical and emotional damages, with both the terrorists and the PA found liable in damages; 'The PA paid, encouraged and supported terrorism,' says victims' father.
The Jerusalem District Court has ordered the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the terrorists who carried out a deadly 2001 attack that claimed the lives of three Israelis to pay the victims' family NIS 62 million in compensation.
Sharon and Yaniv Ben Shalom and Sharon's brother Doron Zvori were murdered by a six-member terror cell in the attack on route 443 on their way home from a family trip to the southern resort city of Eilat. Their vehicle was trailed by the terrorists, who then proceeded to open fire.
Sharon managed to save her two infant daughters—Efrat and Shachar Ben Shalom, who were also in the vehicle—by throwing herself on top of them. The girls have since been raised by their mother's sister, Odelia Ben Shalom, and her husband, Atsmon Moshe.
In 2008, the victims' family submitted a NIS 559 million claim against the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Liberation Authority (PLO) and the six terrorists, who have been imprisoned in Israel. "We cannot describe the pain, sorrow, sense of loss and anger that have become part of the plaintiffs' daily life, all because of the vicious acts of villians," the suit stated.
The recent verdict is a follow up to a decision from 2014, which determined the terrorists were liable in damages, as is the PA for aiding and facilitating the attack.
The verdict detailed the physical and emotional damage caused to all the victims' family members, including a letter from Efrat and Shachar, the two orphaned daughters who were in the car.
The court decided to award NIS 10 million to each of the three victims' estates, NIS 6 million to each of the two orphaned daughters and NIS 5 million to each of the victims' (four) parents.
The PA was ordered to cover 40 percent (or NIS 24.8 million) of the awarded damages, with the terrorists themselves being ordered to pay 60 percent (NIS 37.2 NIS). The defendants were also ordered to pay plaintiffs' legal fees, amounting to 20 percent of the awarded sum.
"This ruling brings closure in a way," said Sharon and Doron's father, Zion Zvori, following Sunday's verdict. "We knew all along that the Palestinian Authority is guilty: it sent the murderers, it led to this. This is the verdict, so now they can't say 'the PA knew,' or 'the PA didn't know.' The PA paid, encouraged and supported terrorism."
"There's no feeling of joy or anything of the sort," stressed Zvori. "I've lost children, money isn't a factor in this matter. What is a factor is the proof the children were murdered because they were Jewish, and that the PA supported this."
Attorney Eliyada HaCohen, who represented the families in court, stated that "this verdict was given in favor of all of our children. The Palestinian equation in which the murderer of an Israeli is given respect, presitge and money, has been laid morally bare, and more importantly—in its bare consequences. There is no profit in murdering Jews."