Prosecutors weigh negligence charges against Azrieli Towers

10 people have jumped to their deaths from a balcony above the towers’ mall in the last ten years.

Azrieli (photo credit: Reuters)
(photo credit: Reuters)
State prosecutors are considering a negligence claim against the management of Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Towers, after a decade in which 10 people have jumped to their deaths from a balcony above the towers’ mall, Channel 2 reported on Monday night.
According to Tel Aviv police, the investigation began about a year ago and deals with whether or not the Azrieli management has taken sufficient steps to make the site less appealing for potential suicides.
n a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, the management of the Azrieli Towers wrote that following a lawsuit issued by the families of two people who took their lives by jumping off the balcony, the head of the Central District Court had ruled that “the Azrieli group is adhering to all requirements under Israeli law and is not practicing negligence or disregard for human life.”
The statement added that the group “has been and is still willing to cooperate with all relevant building authorities in regard to this matter. As of today, the Azrieli group has received no specific instructions from the relevant authorities on this matter.”
Speaking to the Post by phone from South Carolina on Tuesday, suicide expert Dr. Ronald W. Maris, a former director of the Suicide Center at the University of South Carolina, said that reducing people’s opportunities to kill themselves was effective in lowering the rate of suicides.
Citing studies about protective measures taken at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the drop in suicide rates in Britain when cooking gas was detoxified, Maris said that “there’s a lot of evidence the people don’t just switch to another method or another place once the opportunity is taken away.”
He added that although “logically there are other alternatives...
people seem to invest themselves both in the opportunity and place.”