Israeli Court Denies Hamas Victim's Effort to Seize Flotila Boats

The Jerusalem District Court has rejected a motion for a pre-trial lien brought by a family of Hamas terrorist victims who sought to seize the boats utilized by a Turkish NGO to violate Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The three ships have been impounded by Israel since they were intercepted at sea in a Navy commando operation that left 9 of the terrorists on board of the boats dead.

The family of Adam Weinstein z”l, who was murdered in 2002 at the age of fourteen in a Hamas suicide bombing attack on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, filed the action seeking to take possession of the ships owned by the Turkish “charity” organization, IHH.

The plaintiffs alleged that the IHH is in fact a Hamas front organization which raises funds and provides other material support to the Islamic terrorist group. Moreover, they claimed that the IHH planned the flotilla expedition along with Hamas government officials in Gaza. They also noted that the IHH was designated as a Hamas affiliated organization in the United States and Israel, and more recently has been outlawed in Germany. The Weinsteins demanded that the boats be held in Israel until their lawsuit against Hamas was decided in order to satisfy any future court award.

Shurat HaDin brought the court action on behalf of the Weinsteins. The action was filed following a decision by the Israeli Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Defense Minister to release the boats if the IHH committed not to utilize them again for future flotillas against Israel. The Turkish government and EU had been pressuring Israel to release the boats.

The District Court ruled that there was not enough evidence to establish that the ships were indeed owned by Hamas. Despite all the facts alleged in the plaintiffs’ motion concerning the connections between the IHH and Hamas, the Court simply held that it could not be determined that the boats could be sold off in the future to satisfy a potential court judgment against the Islamic terrorist group that murdered Adam Weinstein.

Shurat HaDin and the Weinsteins are now considering an appeal. Releasing these boats back to the terrorist designated IHH after the international political crisis they have caused Israel will only ensure that ships are used once again to endanger Israel’s security. Unfortunately, by the time Israel’s Turkel Commission, assigned to investigate the flotilla debacle, will render its findings and officially determine that the IHH is indeed Hamas the flotilla boats will be long gone.