Arrest warrant issued in Spain for Netanyahu, other Israeli officials


(JTA) — A federal judge in Spain has issued arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other current and former top Israeli officials over the deaths of nine Turkish activists.

Last week, Judge Jose de la Mata of the National Court reopened the case against the Israeli officials who made up the country’s Security Cabinet during the deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010.

Along with Netanyahu, de la Mata ordered the arrest of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and lawmakers Eli Yishai, Dan Meridor and Benny Begin if they enter Spanish territory.

“We consider it to be a provocation,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night. “We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it canceled. We hope it will be over soon.”

Nine Turkish passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara, including one dual U.S. citizen, were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos who had boarded the ship, which was trying to evade Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip as part of a so-called Freedom Flotilla.

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