WEST BANK (Agencies): The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has filed a lawsuit in the National Court of Spain, seeking arrest warrants for high-ranking Israeli security officials for alleged war crimes, an independent Palestinian news agency reported on Tuesday.
The PCHR filed the suit on behalf of six Palestinians who survived a 2002 bombing of a building in the Daraj neighbourhood of Gaza City in which 15 civilians were killed.
In July 22, 2002, an Israeli bomber dropped a one-ton bomb on the residential Darraj area, aiming to assassinate top Fatah militant in Gaza Salah Shehade, killing him and the 15 civilians. The international community condemned the “use of excessive force” by Israel.
Shehada was a commander of the El-Qassam Brigades in Gaza, the armed wing of Fatah.
The PCHR filed the suit against those involved in the sanctioning of the bombing, including former Defence Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, his former military advisor, Michael Herzog, former Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Moshe Ya’alon and Dan Halutz, former Commander of the Israeli Air Force, according to Ma’an News Agency.
Those charged would be arrested upon entering Spanish territory if the case is successful.
This is the first time survivors of an Israeli military attack have filed a lawsuit in Spain against members of the Israeli military.
The National Court of Spain has accepted the case for further examination, the first step towards launching a formal prosecution.
The Israeli foreign ministry was provided with a report on the case on Tuesday and say they are examining the legality of the case.
The courts of Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States and New Zealand have all previously accepted cases against the Israeli military.