Claims attorney: Damages to southern farmers 'immense' due to Gaza war worker absence

Even with relative quiet during the current ceasefire, lawyer says that many of the workers do not believe that quiet will persist.

August 12, 2014 18:43
1 minute read.
idf soldiers

Soldier camp out last month on the lawn in Kibbutz Nir Am, just outside the Gaza Strip.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The flight of foreign agricultural workers from Israel, and the hesitance of those remaining to work under rocket fire, created tremendous damage to farmers in the South, according to a claims attorney involved with many cases.

Over the month of Operation Protective Edge, about 80 farmhands from Thailand who were working in southern Israel left their positions, attorney Hagit Weinstock said on Tuesday. While some of the workers – particularly those who had recently arrived – returned directly to Thailand, others sought calmer farther north in Israel, she said.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

When Thai worker Narakorn Kittiyangkul, 36, became the third civilian to die in Israel in a July 23 mortar attack in the Ashkelon Coast region, even those who had stayed began avoiding working the farms, Weinstock added. The wide-scale departure of employees has dealt the farms long-term damage, as it takes time to train new staff, she explained.

State compensation for direct damages – such as rocket strikes – is being paid caseby- case based on claims and security evaluations, according to the Tax Authority.

Last week, an outline of regulations approved by the Knesset Finance Committee expanded the number of farmers who could receive indirect compensation, from those within 7 km. of Gaza to those within 40 km. Payment for indirect damages – such as the inability to operate under fire – is being classified according to three geographical categories, with compensation rates based on the distance from the Strip.

Weinstock recommends that farmers and business owners who have the financial cushion to avoid filing hurriedly for compensation, and instead conduct a thorough examination of all of their damages to receive as much compensation as possible.

Agriculture is unique in that crops cannot be produced all year, thereby limiting the ability to make up losses, she said.

Weinstock, who said she is working with 20 to 30 moshavim and kibbutzim, stressed that on worker absences alone each moshav or kibbutz had lost about NIS 7 million.

“For all my clients, the workers are running away from their farms and they have no workers,” she said.

Although it is quiet during the current 72-hour ceasefire, Weinstock said that many of the workers do not believe that the calm will persist.

“Now, when we are talking, [the farmers] are having a problem getting them back,” she said.

Related Content

IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint
June 24, 2018
Palestinian turns himself in after hitting IDF soldiers