Israel mulls investigating lawmakers over calls to harm Gazan civilians

Attorney General warns lawmakers may be violating the law in inciteful statements; move seen in political circles as preemptive of ICJ hearing where some statements feature in South African complaint

Tova Zimuky|
Israel may investigate comments calling for harm to civilians in Gaza over possible incitement to violence and other crimes, the attorney general said on Tuesday. The probe of statements made by lawmakers may go ahead despite their immunity from prosecution.
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The move was seen by some in political circles as a warning to Israeli public figures to refrain from explicit remarks ahead of the International Court of Justice hearing accusations that Israel was committing genocide and amid concerns that such comments, some calling for the expulsion of Gazans from the Strip, would be used as evidence of Israel's intentions.
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גלי בהרב מיארה
גלי בהרב מיארה
Gali Baharav Miara
(Photo: Gil Nehushtan )
The comments that raised concern were made by lawmakers from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his far-right coalition.
"Israel including its security agencies, are committed to act in accordance with the principles of international law and the rules of war," Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara and State Prosecutor Amit Aisman said in a statement. "Comment that could be understood to mean intentional harm to uninvolved civilians, are contrary to that practice and could constitute crimes, including incitement. There are a number of cases currently under law enforcement review."
Likud member Moshe Saada said he was hearing from people wherever he went that all Gazans must be eliminated. He later claimed he was misquoted and only said Hamas must be eliminated.
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 משה סעדה
 משה סעדה
Moshe Saada
(Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
Nissim Vaturi another member of Netanyahu's Likud Party posted on X a call to "Burn Gaza now." His post is included in the South African claim against Israel, where he is quoted as saying, "We are all united on one goal, wiping Gaza off the face of the earth."
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שר המורשת עמיחי אליהו
שר המורשת עמיחי אליהו
Amichai Eliyahu
(Photo: Shalev Shalom )
Amichai Eliyahu who serves as Heritage Minister in Netanyahu's government and is a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party who in the recent past said dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza was an option, told Ynet in an interview on Monday that his party is not discussing a forceful transfer of Gazans but only an opportunity to better their living conditions.
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