(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Haifa Magistrate’s Court ruled on Sunday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the
parents of a ten-year-old child who drowned in the Jordan River in August
Naveh Sha’ar Yishuv drowned to death when strong currents swept her
into a pipe underneath the Kfar Hanassi Bridge in the north.
had demanded financial compensation from the Ministry of Defense – as the Kfar
Hanassi Bridge is a military installation – for the death of the
Also named in the suit were the Israel Nature and Parks Authority
and the Mevo’ot Hermon Regional Council.
However, Judge Daniel Fish said
the state was not liable for the drowning death, which occurred in an
unsupervised section of the river, with clearly visible, raging currents
presenting a significant danger.
“The acts and failures of the parents
alone led to the accident,” said the judge.
Following a visit to the spot
where the child drowned, the Fish confirmed that the river near the bridge was
not designated as a bathing or swimming area. The spot where the child drowned
was not a tourist attraction, but a remote and wild area accessible only by
four-wheel-drive vehicles, he said.
No reasonable person would swim there
or permit children to enter the water, which reached up to a meter in depth,
The judge also said that there were “enough signs prohibiting
bathing on the main roads.”
The accident happened during a family outing
to the river.
Ten-year-old Naveh and her 12-year-old sister Elisheva had
been playing in the water near the bridge with their 8-year-old brother, when
the two girls were carried away by strong currents into large concrete pipes
that transport the water under the bridge. Elisheva was sucked right through the
pipe and survived, but Naveh was trapped and drowned.
“Even though the
father was nearby and the mother was standing on the riverbank, the parents did
not pay attention to what was happening, as the girls remained in the water and
started to drift toward the bridge,” Fish said.