Turkey probes IDF 'war crimes' in Gaza

Islamic human rights group calls for detention of Israeli officials if they set foot in Turkey.

February 6, 2009 14:06
1 minute read.
Turkey probes IDF 'war crimes' in Gaza

gaza air strike 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Turkish prosecutors said Friday that they were investigating whether Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity over the recent IDF offensive in the Gaza Strip. The Ankara chief prosecutor's office said the probe was opened after Mazlum-Der, an Islamic-oriented human rights organization in Turkey, filed an official complaint against Israeli leaders. The group alleges that genocide, torture and crimes against humanity were committed by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Israeli army and military intelligence chiefs. Mazlum-Der has also asked that the Israeli officials be detained if they enter Turkey, prosecutors said. Turkish prosecutors are required to open an investigation whenever an official complaint is filed. An Israeli Embassy spokesman in Ankara declined comment. Turkey has long been Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world, but many Turks have held fierce demonstrations against Operation Cast Lead and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the counterterror offensive on more than one occasion. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Erdogan scolded Peres over the Gaza war during a panel discussion and walked off the stage. Last month, a Spanish judge began an investigation into seven current or former Israeli officials over a 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed a top Hamas terrorist and 14 other people, including nine children. The judge acted under a doctrine that allows prosecution in Spain, and other European countries, to reach far beyond national borders in cases of torture or war crimes.

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