In an unprecedented award, the Israeli government transferred more than two million shekels last week in compensation payments to the families of two Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip who were killed in 2005 by rockets fired by Hamas terrorists.
Each family received NIS 1,070,000 ($295,000) in compensation for the deaths.
According to a Channel 10 report on Sunday, the two Palestinians were employed in a greenhouse at the Gaza settlement of Ganei Tal. They were killed when a Hamas-fired rocket exploded at the site, the TV report said.
As far as The Times of Israel could ascertain on Sunday night, the attack in question took place on June 8, 2005, when two Kassam rockets were fired at the Ganei Tal greenhouse packing plant. The two Palestinians were killed, as was a Chinese worker. Five other workers were injured.
After the two workers’ deaths, their families sued the state of Israel for compensation. The Labor Court initially denied the compensation claim, but the families appealed to a special Ministry of Defense compensation committee.
The committee determined that the Palestinians were legally employed in Israeli-controlled territory, and consequently awarded the compensation in what is believed to be the first such verdict and payment of its kind
Weeks after the attack, the Israeli government demolished Ganei Tal, along with all the Gush Katif settlements, in the Gaza disengagement, and also removed its entire military presence. Greenhouses were left intact, with the idea that they might be utilized to boost the Palestinian economy after Israel’s withdrawal. However, the greenhouses were smashed apart by Gazans after the Israeli pullout.
Since the direct allocation of funds to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is forbidden under Israeli law, an Israeli attorney who represented the two Palestinian families transferred the compensation payments to them via a New York bank.