A Spanish judge is standing firm on his decision to reopen a legal case against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others linked to the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid if any of them ever step foot in Spain. Anadolu Agency has gained access to a decree from Judge Jose de la Mata, which, despite a request from the district attorney’s office to cancel the order, maintains the position that could lead to the arrest of Netanyahu or other Israeli officials if they enter Spanish territory.
De la Mata has ordered the addition of seven names to the police database and for police or national security to notify him if any of the people named are in, or are trying to enter, Spain. Once notified, the judge could reopen the case into the Freedom Flotilla which would allow the Spanish National High Court to notify, charge and even arrest the accused.
Six civilian ships in the Freedom Flotilla were raided in international waters by Israeli forces on 31 May, 2010, as the vessels tried to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists were killed and 30 other people were wounded, including one who died nearly four years after being critically injured. Three Spanish citizens were also on board at the time.
The names in De La Mata’s order are of those who made up the so-called “Forum of Seven”, a committee of Israeli ministers who made key decisions about security issues when the flotilla was attacked. They include Netanyahu, ex-foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, ex-defence minister Ehud Barak, ex-deputy prime ministers Moshe Ya’alon (who is current defence minister) and Eli Yishai, former state minister Benny Begin and former Israeli naval commander Eliezer Marom.
“It is confirmed that the requirements exist to activate Spanish jurisdiction in this crime, for example the presence of the accused in Spanish territory,” the document, issued on 17 November, says. The appeal by the district attorney’s office was filed on 13 November.
The Israeli government is, predictably, outraged by the decision, said the Jerusalem Post. “We consider it to be a provocation,” explained Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon on 14 November. “We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it cancelled. We hope it will be over soon.”