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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Israel urges Dutch court to dismiss case against Gantz over 2014 Gaza strike

Tuesday 12/February/2019 - 10:31 AM
Gantz
Gantz


The Times of Israel

The Justice Ministry on Monday said the government has asked a Dutch court to dismiss war crimes allegations against Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz، a former IDF chief of staff who is challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the April elections.

A Dutch-Palestinian man originally from the Gaza Strip last year sued Gantz and former Air Force chief Amir Eshel for their roles in a 2014 airstrike on his family’s home that killed six relatives. The dead included a 72-year-old woman and a 12-year-old child.

The airstrike on the Zeyada family home took place during Operation Protective Edge against terror groups in Gaza.

The ministry said Monday that an internal Israeli military investigation determined the airstrike had killed four terrorists، including three family members، hiding in the house. It said the attack was permissible under international law، and argued the Dutch court does not have jurisdiction. Terror group Hamas — which rules Gaza and openly seeks Israel’s destruction — has admitted that two of its members were in the building.

"Israel has several mechanisms in place and a robust legal system available to address allegations such as those raised by the plaintiff،” the ministry said.

"Litigating the lawsuit before a Dutch court would circumvent fundamental and long-recognized principles of state immunity. Accordingly، a motion to summarily dismiss the case has been filed in the Netherlands on behalf of the two former Israeli officials،” it added.

Hassan Zeyada، a Gaza psychologist، said his family had turned to the Dutch court because it does not believe the Israeli military is capable of investigating itself. His brother Ismail، who lives in the Hague، filed the lawsuit.

The objective is accountability،” Zeyada said. “It’s possible that our case will be a model for all bereaved families to achieve justice and accountability."

Edited by Rabea Yehia

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