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Eleven years after shooting at a Palestinian truck: former leader of the "Jewish Underground" pays the truck driver ILS 15,000 in compensation

In the morning of June 8, 2003, a Palestinian truck driver was driving his truck in the Bani Na'im area near Hebron when he saw a man park his car on the roadside, get out and open fire at him. The shooting was done with an M-16 rifle; the truck was hit and damaged; the truck driver suffered from shock.

The shooter, Menachem Livni, was one the leaders of the "Jewish Underground", a group that operated in the early 1980s and was responsible, inter alia, for the killing of three Palestinian students and the maiming of three Palestinian mayors in the West Bank. For his part in these actions, Livni was convicted of murder and other violent offences, and received a life sentence; but in 1990, after serving six years of his sentence, Livni was pardoned by the Israeli President and released from prison.

Following the shooting incident, the state filed an indictment against Livni to the District Court, charging with recklessness, negligence and malicious damage, and claimed the attack was racially motivated. With the racist motive in the indictment, the case should have been brought before a panel of three judges; but the trial was heard by just one judge, who noticed the error only during summations. So the trial was cancelled, and the state had to re-indict. For some obscure reason, the state chose to drop the racist-motive charge, and filed the indictment to the Magistrates' Court.

The Magistrates' Court dismissed the state's charges and exonerated Livni. The state appealed to the District Court. On January 30, 2001, the appeal was accepted, and Livni was sentenced to four months of public service work and four months suspended sentence.

On October 24, 2007, the truck driver filed via HaMoked a civil claim against Livni and also the state for the damage caused to him and his truck; the claim stated that Livni fired at the truck for no reason, and caused severe mental damage to the plaintiff; further, that the state was negligent in allowing the offender, convicted of such serious crimes, to keep a rifle.

On May 27, 2014, eleven years after the shooting, the parties reached a settlement – which was given the force of a judgement – whereby Livni would pay the plaintiff a total of ILS 15,000, and the state would pay the plaintiff a total of ILS 3,724. On June 24, 2014, Livni paid his full debt to the plaintiff. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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