Diplomatic crisis between Belgium and Israel after court ruling in Sharon case
Israel Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled Israel's ambassador from Brussels for "consultations" in response to a "scandalous" ruling by Belgium's supreme appeals court Wednesday that a genocide lawsuit against Ariel Sharon could go ahead once he no longer enjoyed immunity as prime minister.
The supreme court also said investigations could proceed against former Israeli division head Amos Yaron, who does not have the same immunity as Sharon. Yaron, director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, was the only other one named in the original complaint filed with Belgian prosecutors two years ago.
"This decision is scandalous, and it legitimizes terror and damages those who fight terrorism," Netanyahu said in a statement. "Belgium is hurting not only Israel but the entire free world, and Israel will respond to it very severely."
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it takes very seriously the Belgian decision "to become involved in issues that have nothing to do with them," and that the ruling indicates that nations such as the U.S. can expect to find their citizens investigated for future activity in Iraq. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)