Lawyers for leftist activist Abraham Tsarfati, author Amran al-Malich and human rights group official Zion Asidon filed a petition against Peretz, a Moroccan-born Israeli, to Rabat’s high court. They say the Defense Minister can be tried in Morocco because he was born there and has dual Israeli-Moroccan nationalityThe suit charges that Peretz, head of Israel’s left-of-centre Labour Party, planned premeditated crimes against civilians including women and children, unlawful use of arms and forming a criminal gang.

Lawyer Abd al-Rahim Ga’ami, who represents the three, said: “Amir Peretz’s political statements and the orders he has issued to his soldiers have brought about crimes of war and massacres against innocent civilians.”

Peretz office in Tel Aviv told the Associate Press the report was being checked out but had no immediate comment.

Mr Peretz was born as Armand Peretz in the Moroccan town of Boujad in 1952 and his family emigrated to Israel in 1956.

 “The criminal terrorist, Zionist Amir Peretz, has retained his Moroccan citizenship and is still registered in Morocco’s census,” the three told reporters during a press conference. “Moroccan law allows the trial of any Moroccan national who has committed war crimes in or out of the country.”

"Moroccan law gives us the right to sue him … We now hope the authorities will follow the letter of the law," they added.

In the past two weeks, Peretz has expanded and deepened the Israeli offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon, despite an international outcry over air strikes and ground attacks have killed over 1000 Lebanese civilians in less than a month.