GRANTING EQUAL LEGAL RIGHTS TO ALL VICTIMS OF TERROR
Together with MK Amir Ohana, the ILF has submitted an amendment to the Victims of Violent Crimes Act, thus aiming to equalize the rights of terror victims with the rights of all other victims of violent crimes in Israel. With the passing of this legislation, this shameful and discriminatory legal reality will finally come to an end.
On the eve of Pesach 2014, Hadas Mizrachi, her husband Baruch and their five children were on their way to a Passover Seder when their car was ambushed and attacked by terrorists. Baruch was killed and Hadas and one of the children were injured.
The terrorists were later caught and tried; however, Hadas had to fight to be informed of any information regarding the case; it was a struggle to even find out the time of the hearings so she could attend. Hadas had to fight to be privy to every update, to gain knowledge of the status of the proceedings, and to make sure her voice was heard before sentencing. These, among others, are the rights bestowed by law to victims of violent crimes in Israel - but they did not apply to her.
How was that possible? The law, which was passed in Israel in 2001, applied these rights only to the civilian courts in Israel. Terrorists, however, are usually tried in the Military Courts and for this technical reason, the law, and the rights it grants do not apply to their victims.
Yifa Segal, ILF Director, who initiated the amendment, stated: "The care for terror victims lies at the very core of Israeli society, as Israel holds its families dear and feels a collective responsibility for their well-being. It is inconceivable that such discrimination should occur against any group of people, but even more so when it comes to terror victims."
The law left the victims virtually alone in their darkest and most difficult hour. Their rights were ignored, they had no access to information, and remained powerless to hear and be heard.
As a result of our interventions the Civil Administration issued a military order applying the law in Judea and Samaria, granting victims of terror their due rights, by allowing them the access to information and the power to hear and be heard.
The Military Orders system is the basic and accepted instrument operating in the territories today. However, by effectively refraining from applying the law through the Knesset by Israeli law the Civil Administration has put the law at risk of legal implications, such as in the case of future amendments, as these would not be automatically applied to the Military Order and would require a reissuing of the Order.
The ILF is currently examining the possibility of passing this legislation in the Knesset in order to avoid the above mentioned possible conditions.