‘The terrorist should know his family will suffer’
Herzl Hajaj, the bereaved father of Shira Hajaj, speaks to Channel 20 about the government’s suit against terrorist’s family.
Speaking to Channel 20, bereaved father Herzl Hajaj said he supports the government’s decision to sue terrorist Fadi Kunbar’s widow for a sum of 2 million NIS per victim, as compensation for the financial damage caused by the victims’ deaths.
Hajaj is the father of murdered IDF cadet Shira Hajaj, who was killed in January in a ramming attack in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. Three other IDF cadets were also killed in the attack.
“I think it’s an excellent decision, and we worked for a long time to make it happen,” Hajaj said. “More than that, I think if they had started doing this many years ago – 15, 20 years ago, 10 years ago – or if they had taken away their residency status, or their citizenship – I think it would’ve prevented, maybe we wouldn’t even be one of the bereaved families. I don’t know how many families wouldn’t be bereaved families today.”
“It just wouldn’t be financially worthwhile for them to murder Jews. Today, it’s really worthwhile for them.”
When asked if he really believed that Israel would receive the full sum from “a widow with four young children,” Hajaj responded in the affirmative.
“I think they receive dozens of thousands of shekels from the Palestinian Authority, so first of all, yes, they do have money, and they can’t say they don’t have it.
“Second of all the truck he used was insured, he had permission from the insurance company to drive that truck, he has insurance, and there are four Jewish victims.
“It’s true that he did it because of nationalistic goals, but we can still take a lot of money. It can’t be that they drive around in trucks, they drive around in vehicles – which are vehicles of death, and anyone who wants to can decide to turn right suddenly and murder soldiers.
“If he knew that his family would suffer badly for years because the government would chase after them, or take away their residency status, or something else, then maybe instead of running over my daughters and three other female soldiers, he would have spit out a curse and continue on his way.”
When told that the organization representing the terrorist’s family believes that Israel is attempting to take revenge, Hajaj explained that the issue is not revenge, and there are no actions of revenge even being taken.
“It’s not revenge against the family,” Hajaj said. “There’s no revenge here. Revenge is to go into their village and kill the terrorist’s entire family. That’s revenge. We don’t do that. This isn’t connected to revenge at all.”
“We’re thinking about the next family. Look, it already happened to Hadas Malka, and it continues happening.
“Why? Because today it pays for them to murder Jews. Financially. It’s worth it for them because of the honor they get from the Palestinian Authority, and it’s worth it financially, and it’s worth it because of everything else they get.
“I want to say something else. I want to support the lawyers who are suing the terrorist’s family. We’re with you, and any help you need, we’ll be very happy to give.
“Again, it’s not revenge. I told you before what revenge is. We want to prevent the next murders.
“One single second lays between when the driver curses and continues on his way, and when he decides to run over Israeli soldiers.
“That one second is when he thinks about his family.”
Hajaj then thanked Channel 20 for raising the topic and allowing him the opportunity to speak.