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Dutch court dismisses war crimes charge against Israel's Gantz

Israeli Defence Minister and leader of Blue and White party Benny Gantz addresses a press conference at his party's office in the Knesset in Jerusalem on June 7, 2021 [Menahem KAHANA / AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Minister of Defence Benny Gantz in Jerusalem on June 7, 2021 [Menahem KAHANA//AFP/Getty Images]

A Dutch court yesterday dismissed a war crimes lawsuit filed against former Israeli general and current opposition leader, Benny Gantz, and his co-defendant, Amir Eshel.

The court ruled that it was not competent to rule in the civil case brought by Dutch-Palestinian man, Ismail Ziada, against Gantz and Eshel for their role in the murder of six members of his family during Israel's 2014 war on the Gaza Strip.

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week postponed a decision to open an investigation into war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

smail Ziada's complaint was filed against Gantz and former Air Force Commander Amir Eichel, a press release issued by the Palestine Justice Campaign said, invoking "universal jurisdiction" laws.

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"I struggle to stand in front of you today to gain justice and accountability," Reuters reported Ziada telling Dutch judges, referring to the "unspeakable tragedy" that befell his family.

On Sunday 20 July 2014, the Israel air force bombed the Ziada family home in Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip resulting in the death of Ziada's 70-year-old mother, three of his brothers, the wife of one of his brothers, his 12-year-old nephew, and a visitor who happened to be at the house at the time of the attack.

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