MK Haneen Zoabi at the High Court of Justice.
(photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)
Switzerland has opened a war crimes investigation into Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni for her role as foreign minister and security cabinet member during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi praised Swiss Attorney-General Michael Lauber’s office, the bundesanwaltschaft, for confirming its examination of a complaint filed last week by the Geneva-based Palestinian group Urgence Palestine.
The complaint about Livni’s role in the Gaza operation was filed on May 29, a day after she visited the Italian-speaking city of Lugano in southern Switzerland to speak at a pro-Israel event organized by the Swiss-Israel Association.
“Those who commit war crimes cannot travel freely in the world,” Zoabi said in response to the probe on Friday.
“War criminals and killers of children will continue to kill as long as they have international immunity.”
Zoabi added that the world does not condemn Israel enough because it has a powerful lobby that cynically takes advantage of the memory of the Holocaust.
“The time has come for Europe to free itself of Israeli demagoguery and extortion,” Zoabi said.
Livni’s spokesman said she would not respond beyond calling the lawsuit and Zoabi’s response to it nonsense.
A representative from the Swiss NGO Trial International, which fights against impunity for war crimes, told swissinfo.ch that Switzerland has a duty to act.
“Switzerland has an obligation to work on cases of alleged war crimes if the suspect steps on Swiss territory,” the representative said. “If Switzerland opens an investigation, it is in line with Swiss law, especially given the alleged crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead.”
Livni decided not to participate in an event in Brussels in January after authorities there said she could be detained.
In July 2016, Britain’s Scotland Yard summoned Livni for questioning over allegations of war crimes committed by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead. Livni received the summons in England when she was there to speak at a left-wing conference organized by the Ha’aretz newspaper.
Livni canceled a trip to London in 2009 after a British court issued an arrest warrant, but she went to the city the following year on official Knesset business and no warrant was issued.