Benny Gantz
Benny Gantzצילום: אריאל חרמוני / משרד הביטחון

A court in the Netherlands has ruled out charges against Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz over the deaths of Gaza Arabs during the 2014 war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization.

On Tuesday morning, a Dutch appeals court ruled against Ismail Ziada, a Gazan man with Dutch citizenship, who used the Dutch court system’s universal jurisdiction rules to file a petition against Gantz over the deaths of six of Ziada’s relatives in the summer of 2014.

Ziada filed the civil case against Gantz, who served as the IDF’s Chief of Staff at the time.

The case was rejected by a Dutch court in January 2020, but Ziada pursued the matter to an appeals court, which on Tuesday ruled that Gantz cannot be held liable for the six deaths.

The Netherland’s universal jurisdiction system allows charges to be brought in serious cases in which international law has allegedly been violated, including in cases of human rights violations.

Anti-Israel activists hoped to use the case against Gantz to establish a precedent for using universal jurisdiction to charge Israeli officers and political leaders abroad.

But the lower court which rejected the bid in 2020 found that universal jurisdiction could not be used in a civil trial.