Israel ordered to pay $10m to Egyptian family
In an unprecedented ruling, a Cairo court of appeal Sunday ordered Israel to pay $10 million in compensation to heirs of an Egyptian soldier killed by Israeli tank fire on the Egypt-Israel border five years ago."The Israeli ambassador in Cairo,
the representative of the state of Israel, is committed to paying $10 million to the family of the Egyptian martyr Amer Abou Bakr Saad, who was wrongly killed for nothing," the court said.It added that the criminal charges against the Israeli ambassador were earllier dropped due to the fact that he had diplomatic immunity."The family of Saad appealed the ruling, calling for the Israeli ambassador to stand trial in the murder of their relative," a legal source told Al-Masry Al-Youm independent daily.The incident occurred on November 17, 2004, when three Egyptian soldiers in the border city of Rafah came under fire from an Israeli tank across the border. Two of the soldiers were killed instantly, while the third suffered injuries. "What the Israeli soldiers did against the Egyptians were a clear violation of the (1978) Camp David accords and the international border accords. This makes the killing of the Egyptian soldiers an intentional not an accidental act," the court said.Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 under the auspices of former US president Jimmy Carter in the US resort of Camp David that ended three decades of war between the two countries. The chief judge said the compensation amount was the same as that set for Libyan agents convicted in the recently concluded Lockerbie airline bombing case. The court cited reports revealing that the Israeli tank crew, who committed the act, consisted of anti-Arab extremists, and that, while the Israeli government did not order the shooting, it was held responsible for it. The Egyptian Interior Ministry was absolved of all responsibility for the incident since the Camp David accords strictly limit Egyptian military forces deployed on the border, preventing the Interior Ministry from supervising the area.