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Judicial reforms will lead Israel soldiers to be sued in int’l courts

September 5, 2023 at 9:27 am

Israeli Military Prosecutor Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi [wikimedia]

Israeli Military Prosecutor Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi yesterday warned that aspects of the proposed judicial reform plan will put Israeli troops in danger of being prosecuted abroad in international courts.

This came, Israeli media said, during a speech at a conference of Israel’s Bar Association in Tel Aviv, noting that the remarks were considered as criticism against the government’s judicial plan.

Tomer-Yerushalmi warned that without the independence of the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, Israel could lose a key defence in international legal matters, potentially leading officers to be tried in international legal forums.

“IDF’s international legitimacy efforts are greatly benefited by the aura, the protection, with which the justice system provides it, particularly, the Supreme Court’s professional and independent international status,” Tomer-Yerushalmi said.

She added: “Measures that may harm, or be perceived as harmful to, the independence, professionalism and effectiveness of the legal system, may crack the aura that the judicial system provides to the military and harm the interests of Israel.”

Palestinians and some legal experts have appealed to hold senior Israeli officers accountable at international tribunals over actions involving the conflict with the Palestinians and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The top military lawyer said that her office and senior Israeli army officers have presented these warnings to the government, but the government is likely going ahead with the controversial plan.