Spanish judge to probe Israeli army over 2002 Gaza raid
A Spanish court to pursue a complaint of crimes against humanity in a 2002 bombing raid on Gaza.
MADRID—A Spanish judge agreed Thursday to pursue a complaint of crimes against humanity against Israel's army over a 2002 bombing raid on Gaza in which a Hamas leader and 14 civilians were killed, a judicial source said.
The complaint, which was also made against former defence minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, was lodged with the Madrid-based judge Fernando Andreu by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
The judge has decided to set up two rogatory commissions, one of which would notify the Israeli authorities about the opening of the inquiry while another would seek witness testimony from Palestinians, the source added.
Andreu was acting in line with Spain's assumption of the principle of universal jurisdiction in alleged cases of crimes against humanity and genocide.
The complaint refers to an Israeli air attack on July 22, 2002, on Gaza City that killed a suspected leader of the Islamic radical movement, Salah Shehadeh, along with 14 civilians, mainly infants and children.
Some 150 Palestinians were also wounded by the one tonne bomb, according to the allegations.
As well as Ben-Eliezer, the complaint names the then head of the Israeli air force General Dan Halutz, another general, Doron Almog, along with Giora Eiland, Michael Herzog and Avi Dichter, who were respectively head of the National Security Council, Military Secretary at the Defence Ministry and director of the Shin Beth intelligence agency.