The High Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected a petition backed by the leftist organization Yesh Gvul as well as left-wing activists Shulamit Aloni and Natan Zach, against the appointment of Major-General Yair Naveh to interim IDF chief.
The petition objected to Naveh's appointment to the position of deputy chief of staff as well, claiming that he committed war crimes when, in the years 2005-2007, he approved targeted killings of Palestinian terror suspects in violation of High Court orders.
"We did not find… any reason to justify the cancelation of Naveh's nomination," the judges wrote in their decision.
The activists' petition said that if General Yoav Galant, whose nomination to the position of IDF chief had been canceled due to theft of public land, "then certainly suspicions of serious violations of the laws of warfare should be enough to prevent Naveh's nomination".
But despite rejecting the petition, Justices Edna Arbel, Elyakim Rubinstein, and Salim Joubran criticized Naveh for disparaging the High Court in an interview with the press regarding the targeted killings, in which he was quoted as saying, "Who cares about High Court orders?"
"The way in which this was said conveys a wrongful and harsh message to the public regarding the IDF's commitment to court rulings, especially to the public of IDF soldiers," Arbel wrote.
"This public is comprised mainly of young people who look up to their commanders and learn from them not only codes of combat but also integrity and respect. Even if we accept that this was said with a loose choice of words, it would have been better had it remained unsaid."
Justice Joubran also expressed concern that Naveh's quote "may encourage defiance of court orders and can harm public trust in the court system and rule of law".
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