Haifa Bereaved Families Drop Lawsuit Against Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal

Fathers of teens killed in Haifa bus bombing file civil complaint seeking monetary compensation from terrorists in addition to the barring of their departure.

After a Haifa District Court hearing that lasted about two hours, fathers whose children were killed in a 2003 terrorist bus attack in Haifa dropped a request for an injunction barring the three perpetrators from leaving the country once they are released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal.

Ron Kehrmann, whose 18-year-old daughter Tal was killed in the bus attack, and Yossi Tzur, whose son, Asaf, 17, was also killed, filed a civil complaint with the Haifa court Sunday morning, seeking monetary compensation from the terrorists in addition to the court order barring their departure.

Ron Kehrmann and Yossi Tzur - Hagai Frid - 17102011
Hagai Frid

The terrorists, Muad Abu Shrah, Fadi Juabeh and Majdi Amru, were each sentenced to multiple life terms for their role in the Haifa attack, in which 17 people were killed and another 30 were injured. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

In filing the suit Sunday, the fathers of the two victims sought compensation for medical and psychological treatment. The fathers agreed to a compromise through which the state prosecution would assist them in delivering the court papers necessary for the compensation claim to proceed against the terrorists. Haifa district civil prosecutor Eytan Lederer told the court on Sunday that from his standpoint, the lawsuit was not a genuine effort to seek compensation from the terrorists but rather an attempt to delay or amend the terms of the prisoner exchange for Shalit.

He noted that the families had refrained from suing the three prisoners over the past eight years since the attack, and he also raised the prospect that their lawsuit might have been filed too late and is therefore barred by the statute of limitations.

The families' only avenue for challenging the Shalit prisoner exchange deal is through a petition to the High Court of Justice, Lederer contended. They are also entitled to state compensation, he noted, as the parents of victims of a terrorist attack.

Kehrmann told the court he had expected the prisoners would spend their entire lives behind bars. "The court is implementing the law," he said, "but it is not serving justice."

He and Tzur plan to march tomorrow from the terror victim memorial at the Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem to the Prime Minister's Office to protest the prisoner exchange.