Israeli Supreme Court Asked to Overturn Law Protecting IDF from Civil Damages

Middle East

Haifa-based nongovernmental organization Adalah on Sunday asked the Israeli Supreme Court to overturn the law protecting Israeli soldiers from having to pay civil damages when they negligently harm Gazans on the basis that all of Gaza is a war zone.

Adalah and the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights are appealing a lower court’s 2018 denial of the case of Palestinian high school student Attiya Nabaheen, who was shot while on his family’s property on his 15th birthday in 2014 by Israeli soldiers, Palestinian news source Wafa reports. Nabaheen is confined to a wheelchair as a result of his injuries. An Israeli lower court found in November 2018 that Nabaheen could not seek restitution from the israel Defense Force because as a resident of Gaza he lives in “enemy territory,” as an Adalah press release described.

In 2007, israel declared Gaza “enemy territory.” In 2012, Amendment No. 8 to Israel’s Civil Wrongs Law made residents of an “enemy territory” ineligible to seek compensation from Israel for civil damages, Adalah notes. The rationale for the law, the Jerusalem Post reports, is that Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, remains in a state of war with Israel.

Adalah and Al Mezan argue that the 2012 amendment violates both Israeli and international law.

“For many years, Israel’s Civil Wrongs Law has denied Palestinian victims in Gaza access to remedies they are entitled to, as the law…

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