40 Israeli Commanders Identified as "Prime Suspects" for War Crimes in Gaza by Advocacy Group

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) Accuses Israeli Military Commanders of Indiscriminate Bombardment and Mass Killing of Civilians
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 06:25 AM, January 14, 2024
  • 437
40 Israeli Commanders Identified as
Israeli military in Gaza

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), the organization founded by the late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has released a list of 40 Israeli military commanders deemed "prime suspects" for an international war crimes investigation. The move comes as the Palestinian death toll in Gaza nears a staggering 24,000, with DAWN submitting a comprehensive dossier to the International Criminal Court (ICC) detailing the alleged roles of these commanders in executing Israel's war on Gaza.

DAWN's executive director, Sarah Leah Whitson, stated, "These 40 IDF (Israeli military) commanders who have been responsible for planning, ordering, and executing Israel's indiscriminate bombardment, wanton destruction, and mass killing of civilians in Gaza should be prime suspects in any ICC investigation."

While Israel is not a signatory to the ICC, the court's jurisdiction covers Palestine, subjecting individuals committing war crimes there to prosecution. The list of officers submitted by DAWN includes high-ranking officials such as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, head of the Israeli military's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Gallant, accused of ordering a complete siege on Gaza City and cutting off essential supplies, tops the list. The organization alleges intentional war crimes, including targeting civilians and vital facilities. The list includes officers from the rank of lieutenant-general and up who command units no smaller than battalion level forces.

Individual "Prime Suspect" cards identifying each officer have been published on DAWN's website, providing names, ranks, photos, and roles of the accused commanders. The organization compiled the list exclusively from official Israeli military publications, verifying entries through various sources, including a television interview with a commanding officer.

South Africa has joined other countries like Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti in submitting documents to the ICC seeking war crimes charges against Israel. Non-governmental organizations, including Reporters Without Borders and Al Jazeera, have also requested ICC probes into Israeli actions.

In a groundbreaking development, South Africa has formally accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians, urging the United Nations’ top court to order an immediate halt to Israeli military atrocities in Gaza. The case, presented at the International Court of Justice, is considered one of the most significant ever heard in an international court and addresses the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan has faced criticism for perceived disinterest in investigating Israel's policies. The court has been urged to address war crimes in Palestine during the recent conflict, with South African lawyers presenting evidence of a pattern of conduct amounting to "a plausible claim of genocidal acts."

The case is expected to be one of the most protracted and significant in the history of international courts, delving into the heart of Israeli identity and its historical context. South Africa seeks preliminary orders to compel Israel to stop its military campaign in Gaza, where the death toll has surpassed 23,000.

The two-day hearing concluded on Friday, with South Africa attempting to widen the case beyond the Israeli war on Gaza. A decision on South Africa’s request for provisional measures is expected to take weeks, while the full case is anticipated to last for years.

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