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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Past war crimes return to haunt Israel

Thu, 29 Jan 2009 15:57:27 GMT | PressTV

Former Israeli
defence minister
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
A court investigation into the 2002 conduct of a former Israeli defense minister and six other high-ranking officials has begun in Spain.

The Spanish National Court on Thursday assessed charges brought against former Israeli authorities by a Palestinian human rights group last year. Judge Fernando Andreu evaluated the case.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) had filed a lawsuit against former Israeli defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and other officials for giving the green light to military operations in 2002.

On July 22, 2002, Israel dropped a one-ton bomb over the al-Daraj neighborhood in the Gaza Strip and assassinated Salah Shehadeh, a leader of the Palestinian Hamas.

The incident killed 15 Palestinians including Shehadeh, eight children and three women and wounded more than 150 others.

The list submitted by the PCHR also included Ben-Eliezer's former military advisor Michael Herzog, former chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon and former air force commander Dan Halutz.

If the court rules in favor of the complainants, the suspects can be arrested upon entering Spanish territory.

The courts of Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and New Zealand have also accepted cases against the Israeli military.

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