Spain decides to proceed with war crime Inquiry against top Israeli officials

Published May 4th, 2009 - 03:03 GMT

A Spanish judge on Monday decided  to continue with an investigation of alleged war crimes by senior Israeli military officials over an air strike in Gaza seven years ago, which killed 15 people, including top Hamas member, Salah Shehadeh.


According to AFP, a few weeks ago public prosecutors advised National Court judge Fernando Andreu to close the file because the attack was under probe in Israel. Andreu, however, dismissed the claim that such a probe was underway and even if it were, there is no limitation for the Spanish judiciary to investigate the charges. "No criminal investigation which could lead to the possibility of a conflict of jurisdictions has up until now arisen," Andreu defended his decision.


The Spanish judge noted that Israel had not decided to launch a criminal inquiry.


The charges are directed to former defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the then army chief of staff, General Moshe Yaalon, in addition to the then commander of the Israeli air force, General Dan Halutz. Other names include: General Doron Almog, national security council chief Giora Eiland, Michael Herzog, a defence ministry official, and Avi Dichter, director of the Shabak internal security services.


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