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Dutch citizens in Israeli army should be punished for Gaza killings, says NGO

February 20, 2024 at 11:00 am

People, carrying Palestinian flags, gather in Dam Square to stage a solidarity demonstration with Palestinians and protest against the Israeli attacks on Gaza in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 04 February, 2024 [Nikos Oikonomou/Anadolu via Getty Images]

A Dutch NGO has filed a legal complaint with state prosecutors about dual nationals who may be complicit in war crimes in the Gaza Strip after fighting in the Israeli army, Anadolu has reported.

The March 30 Movement, represented by attorney Haroon Raza, lodged a formal complaint against Leah Rachmani, who posted on social media during her service in the Israel Defence Forces. The complaint was submitted to the National Dutch Prosecutors Office and outlined allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and potential genocide in Gaza by the IDF.

“We know what is happening in Gaza,” Raza told Anadolu, referring to Israel’s relentless attack on Gaza since 7 October, in which at least 28,663 Palestinians have been killed. “We have social media, of course, and direct access to certain clients in Gaza, who are telling us about these war crimes and genocide. That’s the main reason for us as well as the March 30 Movement to do something about it.”

The movement was founded by activists in response to the latest developments in Gaza. The NGO uses Dutch law to act against the occupation state of Israel. It is waiting for the prosecutors to accept the complaints for the next stage. If the complaints are not accepted, Raza said it would appeal to a higher court in the Netherlands.

READ: Gaza women, girls being strip searched, raped by male Israel soldiers, UN warns

Complaints have been lodged against 10 Israeli soldiers. Some have dual Dutch-Israeli nationality, and others have dual nationality from other European countries. It has requested the prosecutors’ office to at least launch an investigation and follow up with a prosecution, said Raza.

The complaints are very simple, he explained. There is ample evidence because soldiers have revealed what they have been doing on social media. “Generally, all of these soldiers, all, have given us evidence and the world evidence via open social media accounts such as Instagram and TikTok. They have been proudly dancing around on tanks while killing people. They have been sharing these details for the whole world to see.

He stressed that under Dutch law, if you charge and prosecute the Daesh/ISIS terror group, you can also charge the Israeli military for the same thing. “So, there’s no reason whatsoever why they should not arrest and prosecute any and all IDF soldiers who have been found to participate actively in this war and genocide.”

If the court takes its responsibilities under international law seriously, the soldiers should go to jail for at least a couple of years, at least, believes the lawyer. “They are killing civilians indiscriminately, as we can all see without a doubt; attacking hospitals; blowing up ambulances and killing journalists, writers; putting lawyers in jail,” he said. “What’s more, they have been doing this for many years.”

The movement has also lodged complaints against Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Cabinet ministers and companies for complicity in the war in Gaza. The Netherlands has been re-exporting arms and spare parts for weapons to Israel, not just for F-35 fighter jets but also Apache helicopter gunships, missiles and other weapon systems, Raza pointed out. “Those weapons are now being used actively in Gaza.”

The lawyer stressed that the Dutch government was aware of this and supports Israel. The support includes abstentions in UN votes about a ceasefire and employing political tactics to advance an Israeli agenda, he claimed. “That is why we felt it necessary to file a complaint against the prime minister, other ministers and companies.”

READ: Israel slams UN Court hearing on legality of occupation as ‘media circus’