No compensation for parents of kid who died in Jordan River

Naveh Sha’ar Yishuv drowned to death when strong currents swept her into a pipe underneath the Kfar Hanassi Bridge in the north.

By
August 22, 2011 06:08
1 minute read.
A gavel strikes at the issuing of justice

311_gavel. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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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 1999.

Naveh Sha’ar Yishuv drowned to death when strong currents swept her into a pipe underneath the Kfar Hanassi Bridge in the north.

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Her parents had demanded financial compensation from the Ministry of Defense – as the Kfar Hanassi Bridge is a military installation – for the death of the child.

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.

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No reasonable person would swim there or permit children to enter the water, which reached up to a meter in depth, Fish said.

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.

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