Spanish court to probe Israeli officials for alleged 'crimes against humanit... - Israel News, Ynetnews

   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Photo: AFP
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Photo: AFP
Dan Halutz Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Dan Halutz Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Moshe Yaalon Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Moshe Yaalon Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Avi Dichter Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Avi Dichter Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Barak: Probe is 'delusional' Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Barak: Probe is 'delusional' Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Spanish court to probe Israeli officials for alleged 'crimes against humanity'

Madrid Court grants motion by Palestinian group to probe several senior defense officials for their involvement in 2002 hit on Hamas operative Salah Shehade; which left 14 dead, 100 wounded. Defense minister calls announcement 'delusional', says he will do all in his power to have charges dropped

Roni Sofer and AFP
Latest Update: 01.29.09, 18:18 / Israel News

National Infrastructure Minister and former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and former IAF and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz may face criminal charges in Spain for killing Palestinian civilians seven years ago.


A Spanish court granted a petition by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Thursday, asking the two be investigated for alleged "crimes against humanity" for their involvement in the 2002 assassination of Hamas operative Salah Shehade. Fourteen civilians were killed in the incident and about 100 more were injured.

Experts: Concerns over Gaza op prosecutions justified  / Daniel Edelson
Israeli legal officials say international lawsuits may indeed ensue Operation Cast Lead. 'Every Israeli involved in the fighting is subject to prosecution anywhere in the world,' warns top litigator. 'We can sue Hamas for rocket fire,' adds former deputy JAG
Full story


Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, former GOC Southern Command Doron Almog, former National Security Council Head Giora Eiland and Brigadier-General (Res.) Mike Herzog have also been named as persons on interest in the case.


"Those who call the killing of terrorists 'a crime against humanity' are living in an upside-down world," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He called the Spanish announcement "delusional".


"This decision is all the more outrageous when you consider Hamas' true colors, being revealed once again these days to us and the world," Barak added. He said he would do everything in his power to get the charges dropped.


"All senior officials belonging to the defense establishment, past and present, acted properly and in the name of the State of Israel, out of their commitment to protect the citizens of Israel," he said.


According to a legal source in Madrid, Justice Fernando Andeo decided to grant the Palestinian petition "in the name of universal justice."

Scene of Shehade assassination in 2002 (Photo: Reuters)


Andeo, a Audiencia Nacional de España (National Court of Spain) judge, is expected to inform both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities of his decision.


Shehade was the founder of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – the organization's military wing. He was arrested by Israel in the 1980s and later turned over to the Palestinian Authority's custody. The latter set him free in early 2000.


Shehade was considered to be the mastermind behind hundreds of deadly terror attacks on Israel. He was targeted by the IAF on July 22, 2002.


Dan Haluzt, who was still the Israeli Air Force chief at the time, was later quoted as telling his pilots that they carried out the mission "perfectly."


Shehade's assassination also gave birth to one of his most infamous quotes, noted when he was asked about the collateral damage of the hit: "If you want to know how I feel when I release a bomb (off a fighter jet) – I feel nothing but a little thump on the side of the plane. It only lasts a second. "


First Published: 01.29.09, 15:23


commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Bookmark to

128 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load


RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions