November 30, 2017
As previously reported, Gisha provided legal representation to Salilah, a company that imports dental equipment into Gaza, destined for dental clinics in the Strip. In February 2017, Israeli authorities at Kerem Shalom confiscated an entire shipment belonging to Salilah, which was on its way to enter the Strip, due to a negligible amount of mercury contained inside amalgam capsules, used for tooth fillings. Following an appeal filed by Gisha, the Ministry of Defense said (Hebrew) it would release the equipment back to the company, barring the amalgam capsules. In spite of this, all attempts by Gisha to have the goods actually released failed.
In May 2017, and only once had Gisha filed an administrative petition (Hebrew) with the Tel Aviv District Court (AP 17520-05-17), the Administrator General’s representatives gave notice that the shipment of goods were ready for collection. However, when Salilah representatives collected the goods from the warehouse, they realized that most of the equipment handed back to them did not belong to the company. Representatives of the Administrator General arrived and took back items that had been handed over in error, and said that they would locate the rest of Salilah’s dental equipment.
In the six months following this, representatives of the Administrator General claimed that they were still trying to locate the equipment, refusing to admit it had been lost, and insisting they were making attempts to trace its whereabouts.
In October 2017, Gisha filed a claim with the Jerusalem District Court against the Administrator General (Hebrew) (Absentee Property Administration Case 31066-01-17) in order to obtain a final answer on the fate of the confiscated shipment. The petition urged the court to instruct the Administrator General to find the goods and return them to Salilah. Justice Tamar Bar-Asher ordered (Hebrew) the Administrator General to submit its response by November 30, 2017.
On November 8, 2017, on behalf of the Administrator General, the Jerusalem district attorney contacted Gisha and informed us over the phone that the shipment was lost and could not be located. She offered to compensate Salilah for the total value of the dental equipment in the shipment which was lost.
After negotiations, a settlement (Hebrew) was reached whereby the state would pay Salilah 55,203.32 ILS (approximately 16,200 USD) in compensation and an additional 2,000 ILS (approximately 600 USD) for costs and legal fees. On November 11, 2017, the court validated (Hebrew) the settlement reached by the parties.