In this Al Mezan report, the story of the Abu Is’ayid family exemplifies the severe restrictions on Palestinians who seek access to justice through the Israeli legal system. During two Israeli attacks on Gaza, in 2010 and 2011 respectively, multiple family members were gravely injured. Their house, near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, was destroyed during the second strike.
The report identifies several factors that inhibited the proceedings following the claims submitted by the Abu Is’ayid family to the Israeli Military Advocate General.
– Amendment 8 to the Israeli Civil Wrongs Law (see our Legal Instruents page in this section) rigorously limits the admissibility of claims regarding damage resulting from IDF military operations. A court may dismiss such claims without hearing witnesses or considering evidence.
– Complaints must be filed with the Israeli Ministry of Defense within 60 days of the incident. This is a very short statute of limitations.
– Often, submitted claims do not receive a response; criminal investigations are postponed or denied.
– Due to the closure of the Gaza Strip, plaintiffs from Gaza can’t meet with their legal representative or appear before the court to testify.
– The obliged court fees are excessively high.
– Plaintiffs are required to fill out burdensome and impractical questionnaires.
The report stresses that states have the duty under international law to respect the right to effective remedy. Furthermore, the case of the Abu Is’ayid is considered not to stand by itself, as these impediments are all prescribed by Israeli law proper. This arguably constitutes a violation of international obligations by Israel.
At the time of the publication of the report, the Abu Is’ayid family has not received full compensation of their damages.