As the international community ponders the charge of war crimes against Israel in the aftermath of the Gaza conflict, a nonplussed Israel is making preparations of its own:
The Cabinet declared on Sunday that it would grant aid and support to Israel Defense Forces officers in cases where they face suits for alleged war crimes committed in Gaza.
“Israel will give full support to everyone who operated for it and on behalf of it. The commanders and soldiers who were sent to Gaza need to know that they are safe from various tribunals,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.
The bill, titled “strengthening the IDF’s hand after Operation Cast Lead”, was put forward by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and coordinated by the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and State Prosecutor.
“The terrorist organizations and Hamas were mistaken in thinking that Israel would reconcile itself to [rocket] fire and not respond,” Olmert added.
“Now after the operation, the organizations are trying to settle accounts with the State of Israel, and one of the central arenas in which they are doing so is the arena of international law, by means of the moralistic diplomatic tact that characterizes these groups.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak joined Olmert in pledging support for the soldiers. Calling the IDF “the most moral army in the world,” Barak said troops would receive governmental backing against accusations from abroad and “self-flagellation” from within Israel. [Continues…]
Like a stubborn old woman, Israel is refusing to budge, moving the battle from the theatre of war to the courtroom of justice.