The family of Israeli victims have sued for Israel to seize and liquidate Hamas assets.
In the first such attempt, an Israeli family filed a suit in Jerusalem District Court that sought the liquidation of Hamas. The six survivors of Rachel and David Gavish have requested a court order that would grant them control over Hamas assets.
“The plaintiffs have requested a court order authorizing them to assume control over any and all of Hamas’ assets along with the right to execute against them in order to satisfy a judgment awarded to them early this year,” a statement by the Israel Law Center, which represented the family, said.
In 2002, a Hamas operative stormed the Gavish home in the West Bank community of Alon Moreh and opened fire. Four members of the family were killed, including the parents, Rachel and David, their son Avraham and Rachel’s father Yitzhak Kanner.
The gunman was killed by a neighbor. The six children succeeded in escaping the house during the gun battle.
In February 2006, the Jerusalem District Court awarded the Gavish family 92 million shekels, or $20 million, in their suit of Hamas. This was the first time that Hamas was successfully sued in an Israeli court.
“With no need to elaborate, I believe, that the current case is appropriate for awarding punitive compensation against the defendant”, Jerusalem District Court Judge Aharon Farkash said in his ruling. “The sinful act of murder justifies such an award. It is a terrorist action, which was done with intent and full awareness to cause the death of the victims and the damage to their families, since there is no other explanation for this act.”
Under the latest suit, filed on September 18, the Gavish family requested permission to seize Hamas asset to fulfill the judgement relayed in February. Under the request, the Jerusalem court would appoint a representative to find Hamas assets.
Over the last two years, Israel’s military has seized bank assets of suspected Hamas front charities in the West Bank. Officials said millions of dollars have been donated to Hamas by Israel’s 1 million-member Arab community.
“Placing Palestinian terrorist groups in bankruptcy will be a powerful new weapon in the effort by terror victims to secure a measure of justice and compensation for the criminal acts committed against them,” Israel Law Center director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said. “The court appointed bankruptcy trustee will have tremendous authority to investigate Hamas and root out its assets which was not available to terror victims on their own.”