Israeli Production Company Paid Damages to Palestinians After TV Series Fiasco

During the filming of 'Jerusalem District' a weapon was planted in the home of a Palestinian family. The company, Koda Communications, is suing its insurance companies to cover the damages and subsequent lost revenue

Itay Stern
Itay Stern
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A scene from 'Jerusalem District.'
A scene from 'Jerusalem District.'Credit: Screenshot Kan 11
Itay Stern
Itay Stern

A production company was forced to pay damages to Palestinians for planting weapons in their home while filming a documentary series has filed a claim with its insurance companies.

The company, Koda Communications, had planted the weapons while filming “Jerusalem District” for Kan 11. The company paid over 560,000 shekels ($162,000) in compensation to the Palestinian families that sued it.

In a statement of claim filed by Koda Communications against its insurance companies, with a request for compensation for monetary damages caused to it due to the incident, Koda’s attorneys note that the company paid the Sleiman family, in whose home the weapons were planted, a sum of 211,590 shekels. In two additional lawsuits filed against it by others affected by the affair, Koda paid an additional 350,000 shekels.

A scene from "Jerusalem District."Credit: Screenshot Kan 11

In August 2019, Haaretz reported that policemen had planted a weapon in the home of an East Jerusalem resident, and documented its discovery during the ninth episode of the series. The search was carried out in the home of Samer Sleiman in the Isawiyah neighborhood in November 2018. He later received a so-called search report from the policemen stating, “Nothing was seized.” Sleiman, who was unaware of the circumstances of the filmed search in his home, was never detained or questioned in connection with the gun that was ostensibly found in his home.

Koda claims that the damage from the affair has caused it losses of millions of shekels, due to the fact that the Kan Public Broadcasting Company distanced itself from Koda, which led to a wave of cancellations of scheduled productions.

For example, Guy Zohar’s current affairs program “The Other Side” was transferred to Zohar’s own production company, leading to a loss of about a quarter of a million shekels for Koda. The claim filed in the Tel Aviv District Court also notes that the cost of producing “Jerusalem District” was 5.1 million shekels, and that Kan deducted 20 percent of the total payment to Koda, thereby causing it a loss of 1.2 million shekels.

The overall sum of Koda’s lawsuit against insurance companies AIG and The Phoenix is 3.7 million shekels

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