Palestinians Sue Israel for NIS 18m Over Daughter's Border Crossing Injury

Lawsuit comes after couple's 4 year old daughter was seriously hurt as a result of being trapped in Allenby border crossing's baggage claims carousel.

A Palestinian couple living in the U.S. sued the Israel Airports Authority for NIS 18.3 million for physical and mental injuries caused to their daughter after being injured in Israel's Allenby border crossing with Jordan.

According to the lawsuit, on March 28 the family, Ala Mashal, his wife Ala'a Dofsh, and their daughter, entered Israel through Allenby border crossing after a vacation in Jordan.

After passing passport control, the family waited for the luggage by the terminal on the Israeli side, as the suitcases were loaded onto a circular conveyor belt. While they waited, the girl's coat and hand were caught in the gap between the belt and the metal base underneath it.

"Because of the friction between the rubber conveyor and the metal, the girl was grazed and burnt badly," the lawsuit said. "Her hand, the back of her head, her leg and the right side of her back were grazed to the bone."

The mother and other passengers tried to help the girl, but only after the conveyor belt was shut down she was released and taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.

The girl was hospitalized for 20 days at the hospital, where her condition was stabilized and she underwent skin transplants. She was then transferred to rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem.

The lawsuit details the physical and mental injuries sustained by the girl, and claims that the Israel Airports Authority, which runs the Allenby border crossing, did not have sufficient safety measures in place, such as a mechanism to immediately stop the conveyor if someone gets caught in it.

In response, the Israel Airports Authority said the after a thorough investigation, it found the it was the parents' negligence led to the incident. "Despite the warning signs and clear instructions the parents were negligent in supervising their girl."

Palestinian cross Allenby border crossing - Michal Fattal
Michal Fattal