Gaza Evacuee Wins Compensation After 10-Year Court Battle

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

It took over ten years of legal battles, but former resident of Gush Katif Shlomo Wasserteil has finally won compensation — over $200,000 — for losses incurred due to the forced evacuation in 2005, Arutz Sheva reported on Monday.

Wasserteil, who currently serves as director of the Gush Katif Museum inYerushalayim, sued the state after the disappearance of three shipping containers with his agricultural equipment, which the state had forced him to remove in the evacuation.

Wasserteil’s lawyer, Yuval Ganan, explained that before the region was permanently closed to its Jewish residents, he and some other farmers were permitted to enter to take out their property.

However, “one day when he arrived there he discovered that three of the containers had disappeared,” said Ganan. Subsequently, he submitted a complaint to the authorities but “nothing happened.

Seven years after the expulsion, Wasserteil sued the state for recovery of his losses for which the state was responsible.

When asked why Wasserteil waited so long to take legal action, Ganan said that it was due to the reluctance of his client to see his name in the legal case Wasserteil versus the State of Israel.

The state denied responsibility for the loss, citing a clause in the Disengagement law stating that the state has no responsibility for the loss of or harm inflicted to the property of those expelled from the region.

Ganan countered that another clause of the law providing that the state will itself evacuate the portable belongings of the residents.

“The court ruled that there is a contradiction between the two clauses. They were preceded by the state investigate council, the Matza Commission, which found that if the state determined itself to be responsible for the equipment it is indeed responsible, as well as for equipment that disappeared,” said Ganan.