(photo credit: Reuters)
The Civil Department of the State Prosecutor’s office filed a petition on
Tuesday to the Supreme Court requesting an additional hearing over a ruling last
month that permits Lebanese terrorist Mustafa Dirani to sue the state.
Court rejects state appeal to cancel Dirani's damages suit
Report: IDF doctor says Dirani was raped
a controversial ruling last month, the Supreme Court upheld a decision made by
the Tel Aviv District Court allowing Dirani to continue with his NIS 6 million
damages suit against the state.
Dirani, a former leader of Lebanese
terrorist group Amal, was believed to have had personal knowledge of the
whereabouts of kidnapped IAF navigator Lt.-Col. Ron Arad. Amal forces
captured Arad in October 1986 during a mission to attack PLO targets near Sidon
In 1994, then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered Israeli
commandos to raid Dirani’s house. The terrorist leader was brought to Israel and
held in administrative detention.
In 2000, Dirani filed a NIS 6 million
suit in the Tel Aviv District Court, charging that interrogators had raped him,
sodomized him with a club, kept him naked for weeks and humiliated him in an
effort to extract information about Arad’s whereabouts.
released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, despite a
lawsuit by Arad’s family to try to prevent his release. In return, Hezbollah
returned the bodies of three IDF soldiers killed by Hezbollah in October 2000
and kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum.
announced his intention to continue to work for Hezbollah on his return to
Lebanon, and the state appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court, asking for
Dirani’s lawsuit to be canceled.
However, in 2005 the Tel Aviv District
Court rejected the state’s request to cancel the lawsuit, and the state appealed
to the Supreme Court.
The state had argued that Israel should act in
accordance with Anglo-American law, which prohibits an enemy of the state
residing in a hostile country from suing the state.
However, in a hearing
last month, Supreme Court judges Ayala Procaccia, Salim Jubran and Hanan Meltser
ruled to uphold the lower court’s decision to allow Dirani to continue with his
In their judgement, the justices wrote that in cases of alleged
human rights violations by the state, it is “justified that the issue will be
clarified before the state’s law courts.” The judges went on to write that:
“This statement is right also in regard to opening the courts’ doors to hostile
parties in order to hear their claims regarding damages caused to their rights
by state authorities.
This is not a danger to the state’s power, but is
actually a guarantee of its moral and ethical strength.”
reports, Dirani’s lawyer, Zvi Rish, said the Supreme Court’s ruling was “in line
with Israel’s values.”
As a result of the ruling, Dirani can now continue
with his lawsuit – even though he remains in Lebanon.
In the state’s
petition Tuesday, state attorneys Orit Son and Na’ami Zemeret wrote that the
Supreme Court’s ruling that the courts should “clarify claims made by an enemy”
has “serious implications regarding an enemy’s claims in any legal proceedings
and against any litigant.”
“To allow an enemy of the state located
outside the state’s borders to use legal processes as a weapon against the
state, is difficult, novel and damages the sense of justice,” wrote the state
“Moreover, by hearing civil suits that will not result in any
compensation may even undermine the court’s role to resolve
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling last month, the Legal
Forum for the Land of Israel, an NGO that works through the courts system for
social change, also submitted a petition requesting an additional hearing in the
Dirani case, to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.
In the petition to
Weinstein, lawyer Yitzhak Bam of the Legal Forum slammed the Supreme Court’s
ruling as “hard, novel and absurd.”
“On the one hand, Dirani can take up
arms and fight in the ranks of Hezbollah, and on the other he can send lawyers
to Israeli courts and sue the country he fought against – illegally and in
violation of international law – for acts that allegedly occurred when he was in
an Israeli prison,” said Bam.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this