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Over one million NIS compensation awarded to terror victim

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Otniel Elkayam; Photo credit: Honenu
Otniel Elkayam; Photo credit: Honenu

Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 10:06 The Jerusalem District Court imposed on Morad Rajbi payment of one million NIS in compensation to Otniel Elkayam, whom Rajbi injured in a motorcycle ramming attack in Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. Additionally, Rajbi will pay 30,000 NIS in compensation to a friend of Elkayam who cared for him during his recuperation from the attack, and also 134,000 NIS compensation for legal expenses. Elkayam was awarded compensation following a civil suit filed on his behalf by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, after Rajbi did not file a statement of defense as required. Bleicher filed a request for a ruling in the absence of the statement, and the judge acceded to it. In the request Bleicher wrote: “The attack was premeditated and carried out by several means, in an attempt to achieve a fatal result, and in fact moderately injured the complainant and caused him substantial disability. The motive for the attack was racist and nationalistic, against victims who had a Jewish appearance.” An additional complainant, a friend of Elkayam “cared for and assisted the complainant on a daily basis for three months. The complainant was wheelchair-bound, his mobility was limited and his ability to carry out many routine functions was limited.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher welcomed the decision: “We are pleased with the ruling which imposes on the terrorist significant punitive compensation. The war on terrorists must be waged on all fronts and we are happy to merit acting on the financial front. We intend to work towards seizing the terrorist’s funds, when he is in prison and when he is not.” The attack is described in the suit: The complainant and a friend were walking near the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem when they heard “the sound of a vehicle’s motor accelerating behind them. The motorcycle driven by the defendant collided intentionally with great force into the complainant from behind, on his left side. From the force of the collision the complainant was thrown into the air and fell to the ground.” The description continued: “The defendant got up and started to walk towards the complainant’s friend, holding a motorcycle helmet in his right hand and an 11 cm. long knife in his left hand, which he had prepared ahead of time, when he planned the attack. … The complainant’s friend fought for his life and struggled with the defendant. At some point the knife was no longer in the hands of the defendant. Then the defendant began to assault the complainant’s friend with the motorcycle helmet, beating him in the face with it three times.” Elkayam suffered injuries to his limbs, bruises to his face and required stitches in his head. The friend who was with him was also injured. The judge awarded one million NIS in compensation to Elkayam, 30,000 NIS in compensation to a friend of Elkayam who cared for him during his recuperation from the attack, and also 134,000 NIS compensation for legal expenses. In April 2019, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by Rajbi, who was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, to lighten the penalty imposed on him.

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