Spain Issues Warrants for Six Israelis

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - The National Court of Spain (Audiencia Nacional) issued arrest warrants for six senior Israeli officials, alleging war crimes in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2002.

Spain's highest judicial council based its decision on a petition from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The petition accuses former defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of approving the killing of Salah Shehdadeh, a senior Hamas terrorist responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis in multiple terror attacks.

Arrest warrants were also issued for former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chiefs of staff Moshe Ya'alon and Dan Halutz; Doron Almog, head of the IDF's Southern Command from late 2000 to mid-2003, during most of the second intifada (armed Palestinian uprising); Giora Eiland, former Israeli national security advisor; and Mike Herzog, former head of strategic planning for the IDF.

According to The Jerusalem Post, quoting an unnamed source in the Attorney General's office, Israel's Foreign Ministry is in contact with Spanish government officials in Madrid to rescind the warrants.

Though not the first time the Spanish high court has issued warrants against Israeli military officials, this time the implications are more far-reaching.

Doron Almog told the Post that warrants issued against him -- first by the British and now the Spanish -- are meant to diminish Israel's right to defend itself.

"Some elements with very clear motives and intentions use these lawsuits as a weapon against Israel," Almog said.

"The combat between Israel and the [Palestinian] terrorists continues on different scenarios, and the legal scenario is just one of them," he said.

"I don't think the decision of the Spanish court indicates a crisis in the Israeli-EU relations, but it seems that these elements exploit the law in these countries to act against the State of Israel," Almog said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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