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January 18, 2010

In News

By Haaretz Service and The Associated Press
An Islamic human rights group on Friday petitioned a prosecutor to start legal proceedings against Defense Minister Ehud Barak for alleged crimes committed against Palestinians during the Gaza war.

The demand came two days before the Defense Minister is scheduled to visit Turkey, where he is expected to try and mend strained relations following last year’s war in Gaza and an Israeli official’s humiliation of the Turkish ambassador.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry has previously rejected similar appeals against Israeli officials, and authorities haven’t acted on the petition authored by the Istanbul-based Mazlum-Der group.
Turkey’s relations with Israel have been hurt by the fury that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed about Israel’s war in Gaza a year ago.

Last month, an arrest warrant was issued in Britain against opposition leader and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni on the basis of her alleged war crimes in last year’s Gaza offensive.

Lawyers working with Palestinian activists in recent years have sought the arrest of senior Israeli civilian and military figures under terms of universal jurisdiction. This ill-defined legal concept empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for visiting officials accused of war crimes in a foreign conflict.