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Knesset forms new subcommittee on 'lawfare'

The Israeli Knesset (parliament) is to establish a new subcommittee to tackle so-called "lawfare". Headed by former Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, it will defend Israeli soldiers in international courts, Yedioth Ahranoth newspaper revealed on Monday.

The subcommittee is part of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee and plans to discuss international law in connection with war, the legitimacy of military actions and defending Israel and Israeli soldiers in those areas. The impact of the International Criminal Court and universal jurisdiction laws on Israeli military and civilian officials will also be assessed.

"This issue does not get enough attention," claimed Livni, "but it is a war front like any other." She called for immediate and intensive legal preparation.

"As foreign minister and justice minister, I acted to defend Israel and IDF soldiers in the international arena, where Israel is exposed to aggressive activities," she added. "The most recent report by the UN Human Rights Commission and legal action in The Hague are dangerous and require immediate, professional and focused care to protect the IDF's freedom of action in its war against terrorism."

Livni said that the committee will work to ensure that Israeli soldiers and officers have freedom of movement without being compared to terrorists. "That's a comparison that I cannot accept," she insisted.

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