Israel reportedly will soon launch a slew of lawsuits against the families of terrorists with the aim of recouping outlays on the associated costs of terror attacks.
Last month, prosecutors from the Jerusalem District Court filed the first such damages suit, in which they are seeking NIS 8 million ($2.3 million) from the widow and four children of Fadi al-Qunbar, the Haaretz daily reported Sunday.
Qunbar, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood, killed four soldiers in January when he rammed his truck into a group of troops getting off a bus at a popular tourist site in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of the capital before being shot and killed by soldiers.
According to Haaretz, the state is seeking compensation from Qunbar’s family for the costs of the burial of the soldiers and the payments to the bereaved families, as well as for “the loss of earnings for the lost years, loss of pension and pension rights, shortening life expectancy” and “compensation for [the] pain and suffering that reflects the cruelty of the acts and the great suffering of all the murder victims.”
In addition to the suit against Qunbar’s widow and children, the state has already filed damages claims against the family of another terrorist and is expected to file additional claims in the coming days, the report said.
Defending its decision to file the lawsuits, the State Prosecutor’s Office said that seeking damages from the families of terrorists would help deter would-be attackers.
“This suit, based on a terror incident in which soldiers were killed, was intended to reimburse to the state’s coffers the expenses connected with events like these and to convey a clear and unequivocal message that the state will [also] settle accounts from a civil perspective with perpetrators of evil acts,” Haaretz quoted the prosecutor’s office as saying.
In addition to the lawsuit, Israel has taken a number of other retaliatory steps against Qunbar’s family, including revoking the residency permits of 10 of his relatives and sealing off the family home.
The moves come as Israel, with the help of the US, has been pressuring the Palestinian Authority to stop paying stipends to attackers and their families. The PA has so far resisted any change to its policy, which Israel charges incentivizes terrorism.