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Military warns: Weakening the judiciary will allow Israeli officers, politicians to be tried in Europe

February 22, 2023 at 9:50 am

An exterior view of the District Court in east Jerusalem, on November 22, 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli Military Prosecution warned that the plan to weaken the judiciary that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is proceeding with will expose senior Israeli military and political officials to criminal trials in Europe for war crimes.

Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation Kan 11 said yesterday evening that the Israeli Military Prosecution has intensified the warnings in recent weeks, during sessions of the Constitution, Law and Judiciary Committee in the Knesset. The judicial advisers from the Mossad and Shin Bet agencies, and the Military Prosecutor in the Israeli army, also expressed these warnings.

The channel reported that senior officials in the Ministry of Justice that specialise in international law, issued the same warnings, and made it clear during the parliamentary committee session that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague operates based on the principle that cases related to war crimes are considered only in the event of a rejection of a particular state to question local officials.

Under the planned reforms, the Supreme Court will be prohibited from interfering with basic laws, even those that the court deems to be unconstitutional and inconsistent with other laws. It also stipulates that judges nominated for the High Court be summoned to a hearing in the Constitution, Law and Judiciary Committee in the Knesset and allows supreme judges to be appointed by the government. The amendments also require the appointment of a female representative for each of the three authorities in the Judges Selection Committee.

Israel: Knesset approves first phase of plan to weaken the judiciary