The Dutch Court of Appeal upholds the decision to dismiss the Israeli Defense Minister’s civil indictment for involvement in the 2014 Gaza invasion.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and another former senior military officer cannot be held accountable in a case brought by a Palestinian Dutch man who lost six relatives in the 2014 airstrike in Gaza, the Dutch Court of Appeal has ruled.
Ismail Ziada’s mother, three brothers, a cousin, a young nephew and a friend, died during the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza.
Universal jurisdiction allows countries to prosecute serious crimes such as war crimes and torture, wherever they are committed.
The Ziada case was dismissed by the Dutch lower court in January 2020, which ruled that the principles of general jurisdiction could be applied to individual cases of criminal liability, but not to civil cases.
The lawsuit against Gantz and former Air Force commander Amir Esheli could not proceed because the men have “functional immunity from jurisdiction,” the Hague District Court ruled at the time.
The Court of Appeal in The Hague said on Tuesday that a lower court ruled that Gantz, who was a high-ranking officer at the time of the attack, and Eshel had immunity because they were pursuing Israeli government policies.
“The Dutch courts have no jurisdiction here to assess the claim [lower] The court made the right decision, “the Hague Court of Appeal said.
“High-ranking military personnel have pursued an official policy of the State of Israel that condemns their actions to death.”
The court added that it “was not blind to the plaintiff’s suffering.”
The lower court also said Ziada could sue the men in Israel. At the 2019 hearing, Ziada rejected the idea that he has the right to have a “farce and malice” in Israel.
Since last year, the Israeli Defense Minister, Gantz, was the commander-in-chief of the Israeli army during the airstrike on 20 July 2014 in the Bureiij refugee camp in Gaza.
The attack killed at least 2,251 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 74 Israelis, most of them soldiers.