Israeli Officials Face War Crimes Charges in Supreme Court

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Common Dreams

Israeli Officials Face War Crimes Charges in Supreme Court

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, others first to be tried in Israeli court for military actions in Lebanon, Gaza

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

For the first time in history the Israeli Supreme Court will hear evidence next week against officials who are accused of committing war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.

The charges against senior Israeli political and military officials, including Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni among others, will call into question the attack on Lebanon in summer 2006, Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008, and an attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in May 2010, according to Al Jazeera.

Lawyer Marwan Dalal is bringing the charges. Dalal belongs to Israel's Palestinian minority and is "the only Israeli lawyer to have served as a senior prosecutor in one of the international criminal courts at The Hague in the Netherlands," Al Jazeera reports. Dalal claims to have based his case on "strong factual and legal findings" from public sources, including reports of Israeli official inquiries.

Al Jazeera continues:

His evidence includes statements from senior Israeli officials in which they appear to implicate themselves in actions - including killing, collective punishment and attacks on civilian infrastructure - not justified by military necessity. Such acts are breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as Israeli law.

Dalal will argue before the court that the Israeli police are required to investigate the evidence in preparation for possible indictments for war crimes.

"The evidence is in the public realm and obliges Israeli prosecutors to order investigations," he said. "The failure to do so is unreasonable conduct and the court must rectify the matter."

The hearings will begin April 2nd.

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