Israel rules victims of Jewish terrorist not entitled to lifelong support

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Thursday, September 1, 2005

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Israel's defence minister has ruled that the man who shot dead four Israeli Arabs is not a terrorist, because he is Jewish. The decision means that the families do not receive the compensation as family members of people classed as victims of terrorism. The laws governing compensation only recognise terrorism as being perpetrated by "organisations hostile to Israel".

Ariel Sharon had previously described the act as "a despicable act by a bloodthirsty terrorist," and The Jerusalem Post described the gunman as a "Jewish far-Right fanatic".

The families will receive a lump sum instead of a lifelong payment. Arab Israeli leaders described the law as racist.

"The decision raises a strong scent of racism, which distinguishes between a Jewish terrorist and an Arab terrorist," one member of parliament said.

The Anti-Defamation League, a US based organisation set up to combat anti-semitism, has also condemned the killing and described it as terrorism.

"We strongly condemn today's terrorist attack by a Jewish gunman in Shiloh. The perpetrator is in police custody and we are confident he will be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in a statement released on the day of the attack.

Member of the Knesset Mohammad Barakeh, has demanded an amendment to the current law. He is asking that the law recognise as victims of terror anyone hurt by "hostile activities by a terror organization." According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Prime Ministers Office has requested that the Attorney General review the issue.

The 19-year old Nathan Zaada shot the four Israeli Arabs in an industrial area of the town of Shfaram on August 4th. He was later killed by a mob.

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