State to compensate 2 Gush Katif couples

Court awards NIS 5m. to two families whose sons' graves were uprooted during 2005 Gaza pullout.

jewish cemetery generic 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
jewish cemetery generic 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The state will have to pay NIS 5 million to two couples, Moshe and Linda Stein, and Rachel and Eli Loutati, after the graves of their sons were uprooted from Gush Katif and moved to Nitzan during the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Judge Rafael Yaakovi of the Jerusalem District Court ruled in favor of the families in light of a psychiatric assessment submitted to the court. In his verdict, Yaakovi wrote that uprooting the grave caused the Steins to grieve the loss of their son anew and that today, the couple was unable to visit the cemetery on a weekly basis as they used to. The Stein's son died in his twenties. During the graves' removal, some of the workers were photographed laughing and the pictures were shown in the media, sparking a minor scandal. According to the psychiatric assessment, the couple felt betrayed by the state. Soldiers removing the remains did not treat the occasion with the appropriate respect and the remains were handled improperly. The Steins felt "there is no one they can count on," the assessment stated. The Loutatis' son, Yisrael Loutati, was killed at an IDF outpost in September 2004. The psychiatric assessment paints an unusually grim picture regarding Rachel and Eli Loutati. The couple stopped going to work, they became obsessed with memorializing their son and lacked any motivation to move on. "The family's life and the couple's life were utterly destroyed," the assessment continued, noting that the family specifically asked that their son's grave be moved on the anniversary of his death, so that they would not have to commemorate it twice. However, their request went unheeded. The grief the family suffers reached pathological levels, the assessment said, and treating them was "hard to impossible."