Riot victims sue for emotional injuries

Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 17:07 The Kendall family, residents of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, filed a suit against five Arab youths for rioting and for a racially motivated attack. The plaintiffs were caused damages in the form of pain, suffering, extreme distress, violation of their feeling of security and unease as a result of the attack they experienced. The sum of the suit, which was filed by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family, stands at 180,000 NIS, 18,000 NIS for every member of the family who was present at the time of the attack which occurred six years ago, during the afternoon hours. The five defendants and others plotted the attack on Beit Yuri in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, in which several Jewish families, among them the Kendalls, reside. At the time of the attack the family, the parents and their eight children, were at home on the second floor of Beit Yuri. The five defendants and their friends approached the house, covering their faces with their shirts. When they came close to the house they began throwing rocks at it in a massive barrage, particularly at the door and the windows. From the statement of claim: “The rocks that the rioters threw started to hit the window grates of the children’s bedroom in the Kendalls’ home, which forced the parents to evacuate the children from their room into one of the more protected rooms in the house.” The statement of claim continued: “That was not enough for the rioters. During the course of the rock barrage, two of them went to the door of the house and attempted to break in. When they did not succeed in breaking into the door they decided to set it on fire. To that end the rioters strew trash near the door and tried to set it alight. One of them approached the door and set a box on fire near it.” In the statement of claim Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher mentioned that, “The incident is reminiscent of descriptions of pogroms from the previous century. However it happened here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, in the year 2013. “The attack continued for approximately twenty minutes and ended only when security forces arrived on the scene and drove the rioters away. As a result of the acts of the attackers damage was caused to the fences of the house, a window screen was torn, the iron door of the house has impact marks, and the electric lock was destroyed.” Even so, the suit does not focus on the property damage. “The property damage is inconsequential compared to the trauma and anxiety caused to the family, especially to the small children, who as stated, were in their room at the time of the attack. Throughout the incident the members of the family experienced trauma, felt threatened and had a substantial feeling of fear for their lives – all of this in their own home, their own castle.” In the suit Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher related to the criminal proceedings that have been taken against the rioters. In the framework of the criminal proceedings all five of the defendants admitted to the facts stated in the indictment, according to which they are guilty of the crimes of rioting and attempted racially motivated assault. Various penalties were imposed on them, including community service, a suspended sentence, a monetary fine and financial compensation of several thousand NIS to the complainant. Bleicher added that the decision of Judge Dr. Avital Molad indicates the severity of the acts the rioters carried out: “I will say already now that I cannot accept the recommendation which is not compatible with the severity of the incident and the harsh circumstances.” Also, with regards to one of the defendants, Judge Molad ruled that a penalty more severe than that which the accuser requested will be imposed on him: “Not easily does the court deviate from the position of the accuser. However this instance is one of those that justifies exception.” “The plaintiffs are all carrying with them the events of that day as a scar on their souls. The incident constitutes a childhood trauma for the children of the family and a severe trauma for the parents, who felt powerless to protect their family and feared that the rioters would break into their home and injure them. Some of the children suffer from anxiety during any incidents which remind them of those same moments.” The suit concludes with: “Due to the difficulty of appraising the individual damage caused to each plaintiff and the ramifications of the incident to the lives of the plaintiffs, especially for the young plaintiffs, the plaintiffs have requested appraisal of the damages at the sum of 18,000 NIS for each plaintiff… I request, therefore, that the non-financial injuries be appraised at 180,000 NIS.” The family stated that, “We, the Kendall family, would like to thank the Honenu organization for assisting us with filing the civil suit. It is important to us to add that this is not a lone, exceptional incident, but rather in this case the police succeeded in detaining the suspects and convicting them. Therefore we were able to progress to filing a civil suit which will lead to appropriate compensation. “Every incident such as this of throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails or firecrackers at houses in general and at the window of our house in particular disturbs our sense of security, especially that of the children. As the saying goes, ‘A man’s home is his castle.’ After every incident such as this there is a need to calm the anxiety, to see that there is no emotional damage to any of our children, G-d forbid. “We hope that the suit will constitute a deterrent and also compensate us for the suffering caused to us and our children. And again, we deeply thank Honenu for assisting us throughout the suit. With prayers for security and peace withing the Old City of Jerusalem, our capital.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family, stated that, “We are proud to take part in the efforts to maintain the security of Jews in Jerusalem. The defendants are attempting through acts of terror to drive Jews out of the heart of Jerusalem. We will continue to act so that terrorists pay a high price for their actions.”

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