Friday, August 08, 2008

Spain Attempts To Bring War Crimes Charges Against Israeli Leaders

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Spanish authorities are looking to bring war crimes charges against six Israeli leaders for actions relating to events in Gaza in 2002.
Late last month, Audiencia Nacional, the National Court of Spain (the highest Spanish judicial council), issued arrest warrants against the six - Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Doron Almog, Moshe Ya'alon, Dan Halutz, Giora Eiland and Mike Herzog - accepting a petition from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights that suggested they were guilty of war crimes in the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2002.

At that time, Ben-Eliezer was serving as a defense minister; Ya'alon was IDF chief of General Staff; Eiland headed the National Security Council; Halutz was commander of the IAF, Almog was OC Southern Command and Herzog was a senior Defense Ministry official.

The plaintiffs claimed that Ben-Eliezer personally oversaw the killing of Hamas commander Salah Shehadeh, a Palestinian terror chief who was responsible for killing of dozens of Israelis, in which 14 civilians also died. Israel subsequently apologized for the civilian deaths.

The Foreign Ministry has said only that the matter is being taken care of. However, the Post has learned from a source in the Attorney-General's Office that active negotiations between Madrid and Jerusalem are taking place to overturn the warrants.

This is not the first time that PCHR has filed suit against high-ranking Israeli military commanders, but if the court's decision is not reversed it will set a disturbing precedent in international law, said Ofer Zalzberg, co-chairman of YIFC (Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation), an organization that promotes relations between Israel and the European Union.
Funny, but the same Spanish authorities aren't exactly concerned with war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists from 2000 onwards. Purposeful attacks against civilian targets. Bombarding Israeli cities with thousands of rockets and mortars - each with the intent to murder and maim Israelis. Infiltration attacks with the intent to kidnap and hold Israelis hostage in order to secure the release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails.

The Spaniards have no nexus with the events in Gaza, and I'm curious as to how they could even claim jurisdiction. If they somehow manage to go forward with this charade, it sets a real bad precedent for all nations - as anyone could proffer war crimes charges against anyone - and don't expect the focus to be on folks like the regime in Khartoum, Robert Mugabe, or other thugs and dictators around the world.

The Spanish efforts are a direct attempt to undermine Israel's capabilities to defend itself in the Palestinian war against Israel.

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