Israel - War crimes suit filed against Barak, Livni in Belgium

An indictment was filed in Belgium Wednesday calling for various Israeli officials including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, and former prime minister Ehud Olmert be tried for war crimes, reported Hungarian News Agency MTI.

The seventy page indictment was submitted by a group of 14 people, mostly Gazan Palestinians, and relates to events that took place during Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

Belgium's "Universal Jurisdiction" law makes it possible for the case to be tried in Belgium despite the fact that the events in question took place elsewhere.

The indictment defines several Israeli actions as war crimes, including an attack on a mosque in which civilians were killed, as well as attacks on plantations and water systems.

Livni had refrained from traveling to Belgium in 2009 during her stint as foreign minister for fear of facing legal action in the country.

A Brussels court granted a war crimes suit against former prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2001.



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