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24.9.2009

The District Court accepted an appeal filed by HaMoked regarding the compensation sum awarded to Palestinians who had been attacked by police officers: In the ruling, the court found that the plaintiffs are to receive compensation for both the physical damage and the severe injury to their dignity

The plaintiffs, two brothers who live in Jerusalem were making their way to work, as they had done every day. Three border police officers and another officer who was with them detained the brothers and when they discovered that the two had West Bank IDs they insisted they accompany them to a nearby wood in order to perform body searches, despite the fact that the brothers presented them with valid permits to enter Israel. Once they arrived at the wood, the officers began severely beating the brothers and even took 200 NIS from one of the brothers’ pocket.

On 5 January 2003, the brothers filed a complaint regarding their assault with the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) and contacted HaMoked seeking representation. When, about a year and a half later, the PIU informed HaMoked that the file was to close for lack of evidence and that no action would be taken against the officers, HaMoked filed a suit for damages against the state and the officers at the Magistrates’ Court in Jerusalem.

On 11 January 2009, the Magistrates’ Court accepted the suit and awarded the brothers compensation for the damages incurred. In the ruling, the court found, for example, that the version of events given by the officers, who denied the assault and the theft, is less credible that that of the plaintiffs which was supported by medical documents attesting to the harm caused to them. However, the court decided to consider the state’s argument that this was a false claim whose only purpose was to deter the sued officers and their colleagues from properly carrying out their security duties. Therefore, the court imposed a limitation on itself and ordered the plaintiffs receive a much lower compensation than that awarded in identical cases – 10,000 and 13,000 NIS as well as attorney fees and expenses to the sum of 4,000 NIS.

The plaintiffs appealed the ruling at the District Court. In a ruling issued on 13 September 2009, the District Court accepted the appeal and ruled that in light of the fact that the Magistrates’ Court had found that this was not a false claim but rather a case of assault supported by documents, there was no justification for the limitation it imposed on itself when deciding on the compensation sum. The court also ruled that aside from the physical injuries, one must duly and seriously take into consideration the mental harm and the injury to the brothers’ human dignity. The court decided to set the sum at 40,000 NIS for each of the brothers and an additional 15,000 NIS for expenses and legal fees. 

To view the ruling in the appeal dated 13 September 2009 (Hebrew) 

To view the ruling of the Magistrates’ Court dated 11 January 2009 (Hebrew)

mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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