Human rights org. calls on ICC to probe IDF's 'engineer of Israeli apartheid'

IDF Col. Eyal Toledano "was responsible for the legal planning and approval of acts that constitute war crimes," DAWN said in a file sent to the Hague.

 Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces as Israeli bulldozer demolishes a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron, October 25, 2022 (photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)
Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces as Israeli bulldozer demolishes a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron, October 25, 2022
(photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)

Senior IDF officer Col. Eyal Toledano should be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity, a submission filed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday morning read. 

The investigative file was submitted to the Hague court by American nonprofit organization Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), originally founded by slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi months prior to his murder.

DAWN claims that the Israeli military's former West Bank legal advisor was responsible for the legal planning and approval of all IDF policies, including one that violates international humanitarian law."

Org. to ICC: Toledano approved war crimes, human rights violations

Following a "months-long investigation" into the actions of Israeli security forces in the West Bank from 2016 to 2020, the human rights organization said it established "documentary evidence" of Toledano planning, approving and overseeing acts and policies that constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights violations.

These violations, DAWN says, included 618 home demolitions, some punitive, which caused the forced displacement of 2,115 Palestinians across the West Bank, the organization wrote.

 INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL Court, The Hague.  (credit: PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW/REUTERS) INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL Court, The Hague. (credit: PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW/REUTERS)

Toledano, who now serves as the deputy to the IDF's Military Advocate General (MAG), also "played a key role in planning, justifying, and defending the planned mass demolition and forcible transfer" of the illegal West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.

Toledano was also deemed responsible by DAWN for "authorizing sweeping restrictions on movement both within the West Bank, as well as arbitrary travel bans."

According to the organization, Toledano's restrictions denied over 10,000 Palestinians the right to freedom of movement.

DAWN implores ICC to investigate 'engineer of Israeli apartheid'

In the statement, DAWN director of Israel-Palestine research Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man said that "engineer of Israeli apartheid" Toledano's case is an "opportunity to show that international crimes cannot be 'legalized' through domestic legislation."

"Bringing someone like Toldeano to justice...is the ICC's raison d'etre and we believe the prosecutor will reach the same conclusion," Omer-Man added.

"Bringing someone like Toldeano to justice...is the ICC's raison d'etre"

DAWN director of Israel-Palestine research Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man

"It is rare that you find one person like Toledano tied to so many types of war crimes...with so much documentary evidence freely available," the DAWN research chief explained. "All of [Toledano]'s actions were legal under Israeli law, a fact which should oblige the prosecutor to make him a focal point of his Palestine investigation."

IDF's response

The IDF rejects the accusations made by DAWN, stating that they're "baseless," a spokesperson said, while also saying that IDF activity is carried out in accordance with international law and the ruling of the Supreme Court.