Knesset to vote on intifada suits

JERUSALEM, July 29 (JTA) — The Knesset is scheduled this week to hold the first of three votes on a bill that would prevent Palestinians from suing Israel for injuries sustained during the Palestinian uprising. The bill, initiated by Justice Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, would classify the 1987-1993 uprising, or intifada, as a war, a move that would make Israel not liable for damages. Palestinians have filed some 4,000 claims for intifada-related damages totalling tens of millions of dollars, according to the Justice Ministry. The bill, which would be retroactive, was expected to pass its first vote Wednesday, according to legal observers. Human rights groups in Israel have criticized the bill as violating the Basic Laws that serve Israel in lieu of a constitution. The B’Tselem rights group said the law could also prevent Israeli and foreign journalists from seeking redress for any injuries they incur while covering violence in the territories.

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