Police to compensate Yitzhar resident for illegally scrapped car

Impounding the car; Photo courtesy of the photographer

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 13:32 The Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled that the police will pay N., a Yitzhar resident, 18,500 NIS in compensation for his car that was impounded and then illegally sent to a scrapyard instead of being returned. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who filed the suit on behalf of N., cited the failures of the police and the great distress caused to the car owner.

Yado leveled criticism at the police: “Once we filed the suit and submitted the evidence that the car had been illegally destroyed, it was obvious that the Israeli Police had committed a deceptive criminal act. … The court obligated the police to pay eighteen and a half thousand shekels after they ‘put their tails between their legs’, but it doesn’t seem to me that anyone there will take note, wake up, or examine the incident.

“The system operated corruptly. They [the police] trampled all the norms: signing the wrong documents, giving illegal orders, lying to the court. Everything was done by very senior ranking policemen. … Unfortunately it appears that after the accountants pay the money, ‘the caravan will go on’,” Yado concluded.

The police impounded N.’s car in April 2019. When the car was not returned on the date determined by law after the duration of the impoundment, N. asked the police to return it, but they did not reply to his request. N. filed a request with the court for the police to return his car, and at the end of the proceedings, the court ruled that the police were obligated to return the car to its owner. The police informed the court that the car had disappeared without their knowledge, and transferred the responsibility for losing the car to Shagrir, the company that had towed the impounded car. After the lawsuit was publicized, Shagrir informed the court that the car had been destroyed under orders from the police and in the presence of a police superintendent representing them.

At this point, the statement of claim that had been filed against the Israeli Police was amended in accordance with the developments in the case. The statement of claim, including the amendments, is summarized below:

“The defendant [the police] did not shorten proceedings and on the first date that they were required by the court to state their position they did not take the trouble to inform the claimant that his vehicle had disappeared. They left the claimant [N.] waiting for an additional six weeks without a vehicle and without informing him that he should not expect to receive his vehicle that had somehow disappeared and been lost.
“The claimant was stranded without a vehicle and [for a long time] could not find a suitable replacement vehicle that matched his financial capabilities and his needs. He finally found one and purchased it. …

“The Israeli Police destroyed the vehicle without authorization, and afterwards concealed the destruction from the court. … The Israeli Police crudely violated the regulations and the law.”

The statement of claim relates to the fact that the owner of the car is a right-wing activist, and that destroying the car was intentional. “[The destruction of the vehicle involved] negligence and intentional acts by a particular policeman or by the Israeli Police as a whole in order to cause damage to the claimant. The claimant will claim that because he is a right-wing activist… his activities motivated the police to illegally destroy his vehicle.”
In conclusion, “it could not have been an innocent destruction.” The claimant demands compensation for distress and “a malicious act whose only purpose was intentional harassment by the authorities of the claimant.”

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