Palestinian-Dutch citizen Ismail Ziada sued two Israeli generals for the deaths of six relatives during Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza.

Gantz was commander-in-chief of the Israeli armed forces during a war against Gaza in 2014.
Gantz was commander-in-chief of the Israeli armed forces during a war against Gaza in 2014. (AP)

An appeals court in the Netherlands is set to rule in a case alleging war crimes against Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who is blamed by a Dutch Palestinian for the loss of six relatives in an Israeli air strike on Gaza in 2014.

Ismail Ziada filed the civil case against Gantz and another former senior Israeli military official, seeking unspecified damages under Dutch universal jurisdiction rules. 

His case was thrown out by a lower Dutch court in January 2020.

Ziada appealed, arguing that universal jurisdiction should be applied in civil cases if the alleged conduct involved serious violations of international humanitarian law. 

He asked the appeals judges to reverse the decision, which effectively granted Gantz immunity from prosecution.

Gantz, a career soldier turned politician, was commander-in-chief of the Israeli armed forces during a war against the Gaza Strip in 2014, when the incident took place.

READ MORE: Rights group finds evidence of war crimes by Israel in 11-day war on Gaza

War crimes committed

About 2,200 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed, up to 1,500 of them civilians, in the conflict, according to UN figures. 

Ziada said he lost relatives when his family home in Gaza was bombed during a June 2014 Israeli air strike. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and five civilians were killed.

Human rights groups have accused both sides of war crimes in the 2014 conflict. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently investigating alleged war crimes committed on Palestinian territory since June 2014 by both Israeli defence forces and Palestinian groups. 

READ MORE: Israel refuses to cooperate with ICC war crimes probe

Source: Reuters