HaMoked – Compensation for Violations of Human Rights

This article by Yossi Wolfson, adviser with the Israeli human rights organisation Hamoked, analyses why Israel continuously fails to make reparations to Palestinian victims of human rights violations. The right to receive compensation in case of such violations is in itself intrinsic to human rights. This principle is well established in Israeli and international law.

Wolfson calls it surprising that Israel has been successful so far in evading to pay its dues to Palestinians. He identifies three factors that might have contributed to this: firstly the Israeli law itself, which exonerates the State of its liability in case of damages arising from military operations, secondly the initial unwillingness of Palestinians to receive compensations from Israel, and thirdly, Wolfson argues that there is no adequate legal mechanism to adjudicate Palestinian claims.

It’s curious that Israel isn’t more willing to award damages to Palestinian claimants; this would have healed some of the old wounds, Wolfson states. Instead, Israel continues to create new legal hurdles that limit the Palestinians’ possibilities to claim reparation.