Before light broke on June 14, 2015, Israeli forces were raiding the village of Kufr Malek, northeast of Ramallah.
During the raid, an Israeli military jeep flipped over and hit a 21-year-old man, Abdulla, who was subsequently trapped beneath the vehicle. According to the locals who witnessed the incident, the military refused to take him to the hospital.
Under the jeep, the man slowly bled to death.
Less than three years later, Abdulla’s parents received a bill of $28,000 from Israel demanding compensation to the damages done to the jeep.
The bill has come in response to a lawsuit filed by Abdulla’s family after his death. The lawsuit claims Abdulla was crushed by the vehicle and subsequently disallowed medical aid.
"According to witnesses, locals begged the soldiers to lift the jeep 10 centimeters as he was being crushed; they didn't allow them," the family’s lawyer Naela Atiya said.
In the counter-compensation claim, Israeli state lawyer claims soldiers allowed a crane to lift the jeep and free Abdulla and administered medical support. However, the claim does not specify the time frame of the sequence of events.
The bill sent by Israel also shows how the state is trying to make Abdulla responsible for his own death. The Israeli military alleges that the jeep swerved because Abdulla hurled a firebomb at it.
Abdulla’s family denies this, saying their son was returning from a night shift at the poultry farm he worked at when he was hit by the jeep.
With Abdulla’s death, Israel expects his family to compensate for the damage to the jeep.
Activists argue that Israel has resorted to the vile tactic of profiting off death and making money from the misery it has inflicted on others.
"They deal with Palestinians, the living and the dead, as if they're milking a cow!" said Shawan Jabarin, the director of Al-Haq, a human rights organization, based in Ramallah.
"They want to ban speech, resistance and they want to benefit financially," he added.
Recently, the state of Israel has passed a bill that allows military courts' verdicts to be used as evidence in civilian Israeli courts. The bill was drafted to enable "victims of terror" to demand compensation from convicted "terrorists." The bill, therefore, allows for little resistance against the Israeli military. Any person it deems a terrorist will be seen as one by a civilian court, too.
In the face of Israel’s response, Abdulla’s family remains defiant. They are sure that these tactics are only a way to exhaust them and “break [their] will” so they do not pursue the case any further.
"They want to compensate the metal, fine. We'll give them whatever they want on the condition that they return our son back to life," his mother, Zeinat Ghneimat said.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman