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Report: European lawyers to sue Israeli officers

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Human-rights lawyers in Europe are preparing to file lawsuits against Israeli officers based on actions from the Gaza war, an Israeli newspaper reported. 

The lawyers in Britain and other countries have collected the names of Israel Defense Forces personnel that Gaza Palestinians have accused of committing war crimes during last winter’s operation, according to Ha’aretz. The lawyers have assembled the testimonies of the Gazans in preparation for filing the suits in their names.

Legislation enables arrest warrants to be issued against the officers if they enter the specific countries. In addition to Britain, other countries with lawyers collecting the information include the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Norway.

Attorney Daniel Makover of London told Ha’aretz that the Goldstone report will assist the lawyers in their work.

The newspaper reported that several human rights groups are working to create a network to keep tabs on the officers and seek warrants for their arrest.

An unofficial network of attorneys and pro-Palestinian activists is following Jewish and pro-Israel groups to determine when one invites an Israeli officer to speak. If the officer arrives in a country in which a warrant has been issued, he can be detained and potentially held over for trial, Ha’aretz reported. 

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded by saying that "The ministry is aware of efforts undertaken by Palestinian groups and their supporters to harm IDF officers through legal and public relations means, and is working to prevent such efforts."

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