The National Labor Court has ruled that a worker who was injured by a car bomb can not claim compensation from the state on the basis that he was hurt while in the course of his work day.
Although the court spokesman only announced the ruling for the first time Sunday, the ruling was handed down on Wednesday.
Silwai Jalal, originally from Nazareth, was a handyman who performed renovations for clients in Eilat.
Since 2008, Jalal owned an Isuzu pickup truck which he drove, among other things, for transporting work supplies and traveling to clients’ locations.
On the morning of May 10, 2009, a friend of Jalal’s, Muhammad, called and asked him to come help fix something as a favor.
Jalal agreed to help Muhammad on the way to pick-up supplies and to various jobs he was due to perform that day.
Jalal’s pickup was nearly identical to the truck of Marwan, who had a residence near Jalal and parked his vehicle nearby.
The court’s decision indicates that though there is no conclusive proof, the police’s working theory is that persons who Marwan owed money to, intended to kill him by placing a car comb under his truck.
Because of the similarities between the two pickup trucks, these persons ultimately placed the car bomb under Jalal’s pickup.
Shortly after Jalal departed on his way to Muhammad’s, his pickup truck exploded, severely wounding him and preventing him from returning to work.
Jalal had asked the National Insurance Institute for compensation relating to the accident under a law in which certain workers can get compensated for injuries that happened to them during the course of their work, including traveling to work.
Because Jalal, in his original statements and according to other witnesses, was on the way first to help Muhammad as a favor, and only afterward to work, NII denied Jalal’s claim, stating he was not driving directly toward a work-related destination.
Jalal claim he was really going to first handle some work issues and only then did he intend to help Muhammad, so he sued NII in the Nazareth Labor Court, hoping to be compensated.
The Nazareth Labor Court upheld NII’s decision due to contradictions in his narrative, suggesting that at the time that he was mistakenly car-bombed, he was not on the way to a work-related location.
Jalal appealed to the National Labor Court, but again was turned down.
However, the National Labor Court said that even if Jalal had been on the way to work, presuming that was possible in this case, he would not be entitled to compensation by NII, because getting car-bombed, is not the typical on the way to work kind of accident for which the compensation scheme was legislated.
Rather, being car-bombed, even in a case of mistaken identity, means that there was a specific attack against a person to harm them, having nothing to do with their work status, and rendering the compensation law for workers inapplicable.