South Africa issues arrest warrants against IDF officers

November 17, 2015
Sarah Benton

Report from Ynet follows the press statement from BDS SA

South Africa issues warrants of arrest for Israeli commanders

Group says four are wanted for 2010 aid ship incident

Press statement issued by Kwara Kekena for BDS SA
November 17, 2015

South Africa’s Directorate of the Priority Crimes Investigation Unit (DPCIU) has issued warrants of arrest against four Israeli commanders from the Israeli Navy and Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

The warrants of arrest follow the four Israeli commanders involvement in the 2010 Israeli attacks on the Mavi Marmara aid ship. The Israeli attacks led to the deaths of 9 humanitarian activists.

The warrants of arrest have been issued against:

1. Rau Aluf Gabriel Ashkenazi, Chief of General Staff
2. Eliezer Alfred Marom, Naval Forces Commander
3. Avishay Levi, Head of Airforce intelligence
4. Amos Yadlin, Major General Chief of IDF Military Intelligence

This decision follows a four year long case involving a South African journalist, Ms. Gadija Davids, who was on board the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked in 2010. Davids laid her first complaint with the South African Police Services and South Africa’s National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) in January 2011.

In November 2012, South Africa’s Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (of the National Prosecuting Agency), found that the case met the necessary jurisdictional requirements and that reasonable grounds exist to investigate the alleged crimes that were committed during the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara (which had one South African citizen, Gadija Davids, as a passenger).
Attorney Ziyad Patel, representing Ms Davids, said in a joint press statement issued earlier today that:”These [Israeli] commanders will be arrested upon entry into the Republic of South Africa. An arrest alert notice in this regard was circulated to the South African Border Control system on 3 September 2015.”

This decision sets an important legal international law precedent. The specialised units of the SAPS, the NPA and South African Government should be commended for the issuing of these warrants of arrest. It is in line with our international law obligations.

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa welcomes this important legal precedent. We commend the South African organisations who have been at the forefront of this legal campaign: the MRN, MLA and PSA as well as the larger Palestine solidarity movement. Israel must be held accountable for its violations of international law and acts of war crimes.

South Africa issues arrest warrants against 4 Israeli commanders

Warrants issued on grounds of commanders’ involvement in Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, when 10 Turkish nationals were killed when the IDF raided the Gaza-bound flotilla.

By Ynet news
November 17, 2015

South African police issued arrest warrants against four former Israeli military commanders over their role in the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010, when 10 Turkish nationals were killed aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla, the African News Agency reported Tuesday.

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The alert arrest notice was circulated to the South Africa Border Control authorities on September 3 and confirmed on Tuesday by the SA Directorate of the Priority Crimes Investigation Unit (DCPI).

The DCPI said that the four – former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, former Navy commander Eli Marom, former head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin and former head of Air Force Intelligence Avishay Levy – would be arrested if they entered South Africa.

Furthermore, Interpol South Africa forwarded information regarding the arrest warrants to Interpol Turkey, opening the way for the commanders to be extradited to South Africa for prosecution should they enter Turkey.

The decision in South Africa came at the conclusion of a four-year legal case involving Ms. Gadija Davids, a South African journalist who had been on board the Mavi Marmara during the raid.

An Istanbul court had previously issued arrest warrants for the four in 2014. Spain also issued arrest warrants over the Mavi Marmara incident last Sunday, targeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and six other Israeli politicians, including Eli Yishai, Avigdor Lieberman and Ehud Barak.

In response to news of the Spanish arrest warrants on Sunday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: “This is an issue that has been subject to legal proceedings for several years now.

“The State of Israel and the embassy in Madrid have been in communication with legal authorities in Spain and handling the issue. We hope that the case will be closed soon, as it should have been a long time ago.”

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