Court rejects Qassam damages claim against Egypt

Feb 15 / 7:20amCourt rejects Qassam damages claim against Egypt
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Israeli citizens filed suit against Cairo for not preventing Qassam rocket fire and encouraging weapons smuggling into Gaza. Beersheba District Court judge accepts attorney general’s arguments, stresses Egypt not a terror-supporting state.

The Beersheba District Court rejected a lawsuit against the Egyptian government for NIS 260 million ($70.89 million) filed by 24 Israeli citizens who have lost their loved ones or were hurt from Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

The southern residents claimed that not only did Egypt not prevent the rocket fire but it also supported and encouraged the smuggling of weapons, funds and terror experts into the Gaza Strip from its sovereign territories.

According to the suit, Egyptian security forces cooperated with terrorist groups and provided them with ongoing logistical support. “According to International Law, a state is not immune from paying damages particularly in relation with terrorism.”

The Egyptian government and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein argued against the suit and claimed that Egypt has immunity in accordance with International Law. Weinstein said that a suit against a country which maintains peaceful relations with Israel and the rest of the world and has not been listed as a terror supporter cannot be allowed.

He added that a debate on a damages claim can force the court to interfere with political issues which it normally avoids. “This procedure can gravely hurt Israel’s sovereignty and the bilateral relations between the countries and may even subject Israel to lawsuits in Egypt and other countries,” he claimed.

Judge Yaakov Schpasser accepted Egypt’s position and the attorney general’s arguments stressing the fact that Egypt is not considered a terror-supporting state.