Israeli Army chief of Staff Dan Halutz and ten other military officers may face legal proceedings if they visit the United Kingdom for their involvement in the assassination of Salah Shehadeh of Hamas in July 2002, Israeli sources reported.
Halutz, like another Major general Doron Almog surely be arrested if landed in London, the source said.
They are both, together with the former chief of staff of the Israeli army, Moshe Ya’alon are facing a complaint pertaining to their involvement in approving the targeted killing of Shehadeh.
Almog, refrained two days ago from disembarking from an El Al plane in London and was forced to return to Tel Aviv.
In July 2002, a one-ton bomb was dropped on a residential neighborhood in the Gaza Strip in that operation, killing 14 innocent Palestinians, most of them children.
Those Israeli high ranking officers and some others might be jailed as they step on the British territories.Ã‚Â Courts in the UK, are likely to issue arrest warrants against them.Ã‚Â The initiative to open a criminal investigation against Almong came from both Palestinian and Israeli organizations, including Yesh Gvul, the group of soldiers who refused to serve in the occupied territories.Ã‚Â Whereas only Palestinian organization initiated the motion against Halutz and Ya’alon.
Some Yesh Gvul members said they passed incriminating material collected on the Gaza incident to a law firm in the UK.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Lawyer Daniel Machover, of the London-based law firm Hickman and Rose is handling the case and filing the complaints.
Yesh Gvul said they have applied first to the Israeli High Court of Justice two years ago who then, failed to hold those people accountable for their deeds and order a criminal investigation in the matter. They added that if the Israeli legal establishment failed to take action on the matter, they will take the option to approach the legal authorities abroad.
While Israelis are exempt from being brought up on charges before the International Criminal Court of Justice at The Hague, countries like Belgium, Spain, German and Britain gave their judges universal judicial authority with regard to war crimes, crimes against humanity and Genocide.
Israelis are exempt from The Hague basically because Israel did not ratify the Rome treaty that established the court.
According to legislations in these countries, the state has the power to bring charges related to such crimes to individuals if the legal system in their country of origin is unable or unwilling to peruse the case and handle such complaints.
‘We have lost our faith in the Supreme Court, and in its ability to deliberate matters related to the IDF’s activities as an occupying power,’ Yesh Gvul spokesman Yishai Menuhin said.