Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israel has beaten every lawfare claim against it in foreign courts to date, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday.
“We have won in every court – this is very important,” said Shaked.
“Lawfare” is the phenomenon of the Palestinians and their foreign supporters filing charges in foreign courts against Israeli war-planners and IDF officials for alleged war crimes, usually relating to one of the many wars that Israel has fought with Hamas.
The justice minister also said that “the Palestinians have fired everything at us in opening a front against us before the International Criminal Court.”
She said that Deputy Attorney- General Roy Schondorf and his staff as well as the Foreign Ministry are “working to push back against their claims against us.”
Moreover, she said that her ministry has worked with Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to fight off Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign initiatives.
In the area of money-laundering, she said that the ministry’s anti money-laundering authority has succeeded in working with international organizations, and that it has worked with the US to block money-laundering for Iran.
Giving a wide overview of legislative initiatives she has advanced recently, Shaked noted that she is moving forward to ensuring that laws in effect in Israel “apply the same way in Judea and Samaria.”
More specifically, she said that recently the IDF Central Commander with responsibility for the West Bank issued an order applying Israeli law regarding victims of crimes to citizens over the Green Line.
An Israeli law gives notice to terror victims before Palestinian terrorists are to be released from prison as part of a prisoner swap.
Now, that law and other laws for crime victims will apply to Israeli citizens living in the West Bank as well.
On another front, she has advanced a bill to move certain cases from being under the sole jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice to have them start at the district court level.
Most view the bill as an attempt to reduce Palestinian petitions relating to West Bank land disputes, based on the belief that the High Court rules for Palestinians more than district courts will.
The bill has not yet passed and the defense and legal establishments have concerns about it.
She also gave a range of statistics about the ministry’s activities.
According to her presentation, prosecutors appeared in 88,127 cases last year and activities of the real estate registrar, which handles 800,000 requests a year, has become much more modernized, with many services being handled online.
81,400 cases were opened last year to provide legal assistance to those in need; 60,517 cases were opened to provide legal guardians to citizens; and the public defender gave legal advice to 25,949 people before they were questioned.
Shaked and Chief Courts Administrator Yigal Marzel both discussed the ministry and the courts’ ongoing efforts to make adjustments for handling changes to the country’s bankruptcy system.
Furthermore, she said she hopes to make progress on initiatives to strengthen defendants’ rights – especially to set up additional checks in the legal process to guard against mistaken convictions – and to move forward with formalizing land-rights issues in east Jerusalem, the Negev and the Golan, which is a legal battle involving Arabs and Bedouins, depending on the area involved.