A Spanish judge has asked law enforcement for verification should Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or six other former or current high-ranking Israeli officials enter Spain.
Similar to an arrest warrant, a security notification alerts the judge issuing the decree to re-open a legal matter should individuals sought in a temporarily closed case be present for a hearing.
In addition to Netanyahu, former defense minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, former minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon, former interior minister Eli Yishai, Knesset member Benny Begin and vice admiral in charge of the operation, Maron Eliezer are included in the Spanish security alert.
Issued last Friday, the fiats delivered by Judge Jose de la Mata originate from a 2010 incident, the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was attempting to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In May 2010, Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, operated by the Turkish-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), which claimed the ship was carrying humanitarian assistance destined for Gaza.
Suspected of carrying weapons for Palestinian militants in Gaza, the Israeli navy warned the approaching flotilla, Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, and attempted to steer the ship to the Israeli port of Ashdod for a routine inspection of the ship’s cargo.
According to Israeli accounts, Israeli commandos were met with resistance immediately upon boarding the ship. As hostilities increased, ten activists manning the ship were killed; similarly, ten Israeli commandos were injured, one seriously.
Three Spanish nationals aboard the Mavi Marmara sued Israel in the aftermath; however, citing jurisdiction, a Spanish court dismissed the case. Judge de la Mata put the case on hold in June 2014.
“We consider it to be a provocation. We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it canceled. We hope it will be over soon,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said Saturday night.
Israel apologized for its role and has offered to pay millions to the Turkish government for the incident.
Several inquiries were commissioned to investigate. Although a number of probes did define Israel’s expression of self-defense as excessive, the Turkel Commission cleared Israel and the Palmer Report – conducted by the United Nations – authenticated Israel’s purpose in boarding the ships, but concluded the action qualified as a war crime.
Given the life many Israelis experience, besieged by terrorism and Palestinian militants, measures taken to defend its citizens are justifiable. Judge de la Mata’s issuance exploits this legal loophole, allowing the court system to chase vendettas against Israeli officials.
[laht.com] [Fox News] [Photo courtesy uludagsozluk.com]