An Israeli commander has ruled that a Palestinian shepherd who was shot by the Israeli military three years ago will not be allowed to sue for damages.The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the military signed a document disallowing the three year old lawsuit filed by Mohammed Shamasna, but the military will pay 10,000 NIS to cover three years of legal fees.
Shamasna was shot in November of 2007 and had to undergo several operations and a lengthy rehabilitation process.
According to Israeli military regulations, if an Israeli officer finds that someone is injured during a necessary military operation, the wounded person cannot make a claim for damages. However Shamasna’s lawyer Laviv Habib stated that he believed that the order was signed simply to block the case from going forward since it took more than three years to declare that it was a military operation.
Coverage of this incident in Ha’aretz favored the view that the Israeli military was being generous in providing money for legal fees. Questions about the need for military accountability for the shooting of civilians during a military operation were not raised. Nor was the thought that someone who was shot would have incurred medical fees in addition some loss of livelihood given it would be difficult to maintain work as a shepherd following this type of incident.