The suits follow several attempts by anti-Zionists in Europe, who sought the arrest of Israeli political and military leaders for authorizing the counter terrorist operation.
It is in effect, turning the tables on them. An official of the Israeli organization that helped launch the suits said that the group hopes "to shatter the myth that draws a parallel between Israel and terror organizations such as Hamas." Indeed, false moral equivalence is rife.
All plaintiffs live in the south of Israel. They are the victims of rocket barrages coming down on the area from Gaza between June 2008 and January 2009. Two were wounded. All are suffering emotional and psychological trauma.
The suit names ten Hamas leaders in all: political chief Khaled Mashaal residing in Damascus, 'Premier' Ismaail Haniyah in Gaza, former 'Foreign Minister' Mahmud Zahar, and leaders of the 'military' division, Ahmed Jabri and Mohammed Def.
The cases took six months to prepare. So far six requests for their arrest have been issued, all based on clear evidence that Hamas leaders are linked to the terror attacks.
Arutz Sheva report attorney Mordechai Tzivin, representing the plaintiffs, told the French news agency AFP: "This is a first step in a broad offensive across Europe that will include Spain, Britain, Italy and other countries".
One of the Belgian attorneys involved, Roel Coveliers explains that indiscriminate attacks on civilians may constitute . "But that's up to the Judge to decide. We don't know if we will be successful in prosecuting the case in Belgium and get a conviction, but it's important to get an investigative Judge to take on the matter".
Filing the suit is only an initial step. A federal Judge will see if the complaints have standing. In the affirmative, an investigative Judge will be appointed.
Although ranging well within Israeli territory, Hamas' home made rockets are not particularly effective. Between 2005 and 2007 Hamas militants fired some 2,700 of the home made rockets on southern Israel. Towns like have come under constant barrages of fire which crippled the daily lives of the inhabitants, causing material and psychological trauma.
On December 27 Israel finally launched counter terrorist Operation Cast Lead.
In the days before the maneuvers some eighty Qassam rockets landed in the area. It still happens, albeit less frequently, but effectively not much has changed. A recent article by blogger/journalist Caroline Glick explains why little was accomplished. Even top IDF commanders acknowledged this week that the army will be forced to return to Gaza in due course.
Belgian attorney Coveliers does not think the Court will reject the request. Thus far he's received six of the fifteen dossiers from Israel.
Ironically the suits charge ten Hamas leaders of war crimes on the basis of the 's report authored by Judge Richard Goldstone, who accused Israel of war crimes but mentioned, almost in passing, that Hamas rocket attacks on civilians also constitute violations of international law.
With thanks to Politeia