Israeli Arab Man Blinded in October 2000 Riots to Get NIS 810,000 Compensation

Haifa Court rules in favor of Nazareth man, who claims Israel police shot two rubber bullets into his face while he was walking home from work in October 2000.

The Haifa District Court ruled on Monday in favor of a 33-year-old Nazareth resident who was blinded in his left eye during the Israeli Arab riots of 2000, ordering the Israel Police to pay him NIS 810,000 in compensation.

According to the indictment, the plaintiff was hit in his left eye and in his face by two rubber bullets while walking through his village during a volatile protest. His lawyer claimed that he was an innocent bystander simply walking home from work, and had no part in the demonstrations.

Israeli policemen. AP

Police, however, claimed that the plaintiff had a long history of violence including violent attacks against law enforcement officers. They said he was marching with a rally when injured and therefore did not deserve compensation.

The court could not gather witnesses to the injury and based its findings on the medical records from the event and on the state probe into the events, which mentioned that two people were severely injured on October 3, 2000 - one of them, apparently, the plaintiff in question.

In 2008, the Haifa District Court ruled in favor of another young man from Kfar Mana in the Galilee, who was shot with live ammunition during the October riots. The court ordered the state to compensate him with NIS 380,000.