Dorit Beinish
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Hanan Meltzer

Palestinian HR groups want 2004 military ops in Gaza probed

Two human rights groups ask Supreme Court to order criminal investigation into five-year-old IDF operations in Strip. State alleges too much time has past to hold full inquest; court chides petitioners for threatening international legal action

The Supreme Court held its first hearing on a petition filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, concerning two 2004 military operations in the Gaza Strip.


The petitions were filed in mid 2007, asking the court to order criminal proceedings be launched against Israeli Defense Forces officers and soldiers who participated in the fighting, which they claim resulted in the loss of dozens of innocent Palestinian lives.


Adalah Attorney Hasan Jabareen argued that according to both the Israeli and international law, a criminal investigation was warranted since a military inquest does not meet the law's criteria.


Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and the honorable Elyakim Rubinstein and Hanan Meltzer, presiding over Wednesday's hearing, said that there was a pragmatic difficulty in the case, since investigating every single person involved in the operations was impractical.


"I also resent the underlying threat of appealing to an international body," Beinish chided Adalah. "You cannot constantly hint that if this court proves less then compliant you will take your case to another forum."


Justice Meltzer noted that international law states that in cases such as these, it is the internal inquest that is a must, since it can result in a criminal one. "You're taking a shortcut and making the leap to a criminal investigation. You have overlooked the first step."


The panel was also critical of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, asking if it pursued "Palestinian attacks on Israelis and the case of (kidnapped IDF soldier) Gilad Shalit?"


Attorney Anar Helman, for the State, told the court that the petition focused on two operations which took place five years ago, lasted a few weeks each, and saw thousands of soldiers take part in them.


The petitioners have waited too long, he added, wondering aloud how a comprehensive investigation could possibly take place at this time.


פרסום ראשון: 05.06.09, 13:41
 new comment
This will delete your current comment