The Ziada family from Gaza was all but wiped out by Israel’s murderous bombardment during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge when a bomb buried them under three storeys of rubble. Among the dead lay Ismail Ziada’s mother, three brothers, his sister-in-law, a 12-year-old nephew and a visiting friend. Ismail himself happens to be a Dutch citizen resident in the Netherlands, so he wasn’t in Gaza at the time.
And fortunately the Netherlands, unlike the spineless UK, still upholds a system of universal jurisdiction in civil proceedings for its citizens who are unable to gain access to justice elsewhere.
According to an informed source, Ziada hired a lawyer specializing in support for victims of war crimes and human rights violations, and papers were served on the Israeli military’s Chief of General Staff at the time of the bombing, Benny Gantz, and the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Amir Eshel. It was assumed that neither would respond and court proceedings would be conducted in absentia. Surprisingly Gantz and Eshel both submitted a response claiming immunity and alleging that the Dutch court had no jurisdiction.
They argue that Ziada can access justice in Israel. But the recent Israeli court ruling against Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who filed for compensation against the Israeli state over the killing of three of his daughters in IDF shelling in 2009, nails that lie.
The Ziada writ focuses on the fact that the bombing of the family home was illegal and a war crime under international law. Next month, we’re told, there will be a court hearing – the first of its kind. If it works out well for Ziada it is anticipated that Gantz and Eshel will push the matter up to the Dutch Supreme Court, which could take years and incur significant expense.
So far Ziada has used his own funds and contributions from friends and supporters to pursue the case on behalf of all the victims of Israeli war crimes. But to achieve justice he’ll need wider moral and financial support. The target is 50,000 euros.
The good news is that the circumstances are such that this case has the potential to blow a hole in the Zionist regime’s arrogant belief that it is exceptional and above the law. Pressed home with enough determination and cash it could be the game-changer that creates the legal precedent decent folk around the world have prayed for. The word is that any compensation received will go into a fund for Palestinian war crime victims in general and children in particular. If you wish to contribute, go to;
Roger Waters will match you.Gantz and Eshel are military thugs of a particularly loathsome kind. Both waged war on Lebanon and played leading parts in the series of genocidal assaults on Gaza, the worst being Operation Protective Edge which, according to Israel’s B’Tselem, killed over 2,200 Palestinians, including 547 infants and children.Gantz is a wannabee political leader challenging Netanyahu in the coming Israeli elections.
Heading his new Israel Resilience Party he pledges to strengthen illegal Israeli settlement blocs and says that Israel will never leave the Golan Heights stolen from Syria. How nice is that?
© Stuart Littlewood – 6 February 2019