Court Rejects Galilee Woman's Suit Against PA Over Terror Attack

The judge ruled Shula Gaon's arguments did not prove the PA was at fault, and therefore rejected the case.

The Nazareth District Court rejected a civil suit by by a resident of Upper Nazareth against the Palestinian Authority over injuries caused during a November 2001 terrorist attack.

Judge Avraham Avraham ruled last week that Shula Gaon, 42, did not prove the PA was linked to the terrorist attack, beyond listing the identities of the attackers and the groups to which they belonged.

A resident of northern Israel who was left handicapped by that attack sued the State of Israel for not preventing it, but withdrew his suit several days ago.

In the attack, two terrorists opened fire on civilians in central Afula, near the Central Bus Station, killing two people, injuring 10 seriously and dozens lightly.

The two terrorists were killed by security forces.

Many vehicles and shops were also damaged.

Gaon lost her leg in the attack. In her suit, she attributed responsibility for the attack to the Palestinian Authority and its leadership, including then-leader Yasser Arafat. Following Arafat's death, he was removed from the suit.

Gaon argued that one of the two attackers was a PA policemen and that the other was a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority.

The attack "was carried out by representatives, envoys or employees of the defendants [those being sued] following specific orders, which alternatively approved the attack in retrospect, and unfortunately took no action to prevent it, even when it was within their ability to do so," she argued in her suit.

In its defense, Palestinian Authority argued that it was not connected to the incident.

The judge ruled that Gaon's arguments did not prove the PA was at fault, and therefore rejected the case.

"The incident was serious, innocent civilians were killed, and others, including the plaintiff, were injured," the judge wrote. My heart goes out to the victims of this evil act by two murderers."

Avraham said Gaon's attorney had asked him to postulate responsibility by making inferences from media reports during the second intifada. "This is unacceptable ... the moment the matter was brought to trail we must go by evidence, and claims must be proven to be factual. The plaintiff was unable to do this."