Middle East Monitor / April 12, 2022
The Palestinian government and local authorities concerned with prisoners’ affairs have rejected the Israeli High Court’s ruling that the Palestinian Authority can be held liable for attacks on Israeli targets as it pays stipends to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of those killed during attacks on Israelis.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said at a cabinet meeting held yesterday that the Israeli court’s decision is “unacceptable and is illegal and illegitimate”, adding that the Palestinian government is merely doing its duty “towards orphans of martyrs, prisoners and their families.”
On Sunday, the Israeli court found that the PA’s decision to pay Palestinian prisoners and those killed as part of the “struggle against Israel” makes the PA liable for their actions.
“[The PA] expresses its consent to their actions, in a manner that takes responsibility for the acts. This justifies that [the PA] will be assigned personal and direct responsibility,” Justice Yitzhak Amit wrote in the ruling.
Under Israeli damages law, a party can be held liable not only if they “provide counsel, aid…or order and permit” legal damage, but also if they retroactively “ratify” damages done to another, The Times of Israel said.
However, the court ruled that the PA can only be sued for compensation, rather than punitive damages.
For his part, the head of the Prisoners and Freed Prisoners Affairs Commission, Qadri Abu Bakr, described the decision as a “miserable attempt to deter the Palestinian people and their leadership”.
Abu Bakr called on the international judicial system and legal and human rights institutions to “take immediate action to put an end to Israeli judicial extremism”.
The head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, Qadoura Fares, said the Israeli court’s decision is “part of the ongoing aggression against the rights of prisoners and their families.”