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A Dutch court grants immunity to Israeli leaders from war crimes charges

August 26, 2023 at 9:40 am

Chairman of Israel’s National Unity Party Benny Gantz [Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency]

On Friday, Israel’s Channel 7 reported that the Supreme Court in the Netherlands had ruled to grant legal immunity to the former Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, and the former Commander of the Air Force and Director General of the Ministry of the Army, Amir Eshel. This immunity prevents them from being prosecuted in the Supreme Court of Justice on charges of war crimes during Israeli operations.

According to the Israeli channel, a civil lawsuit was filed against Gantz and Eshel in September 2019 by Ismail Ziada, a Dutch-Palestinian citizen, who lost six family members in an airstrike during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Based on the decision of the Supreme Court, the former military leaders are protected from civil prosecution as they have “functional immunity.”

Benny Gantz responded to the ruling by saying, “Israel is a strong country in the Middle East, and it maintains its moral principles and the integrity of its arms- this includes appreciation for those working in the defence, judicial, and foreign ministries.”

These parties took steps that contributed to the dismissal of the case against him and Amir Eshel, after they committed war crimes during Operation Protective Edge.

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