Israel is seeking overturn an order by the National Court of Spain to arrest six Israeli military leaders who have been accused of war crimes.

Sources in the Israeli attorney general’s office told the Jerusalem Post that the Israeli government is fighting to overturn the arrest warrants for the six, who were accused by a Palestinian human rights organization for the willful killing of seventeen civilians in Gaza in 2002.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) filed a ground-breaking lawsuit against former 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. This is the first time survivors of an Israeli military attack have filed a lawsuit against members of the Israeli military in Spain.

PCHR filed the suit on behalf of the survivors of the July 2002 bombing of the house of Salah Shehada, a member of the Al-Qassam Brigade – the armed wing of Hamas. The bomb killed Salah Shehada and seventeen civilians, including his wife, his daughter, his guard, eight children (including a two-month old infant), two elderly men, and two women. Seventy-seven other people were injured, eleven houses were destroyed and thirty-two houses damaged.

According to PCHR, the government of Israel and the military commanders were aware that Shehada’s wife and children were in the house at the time.