A bill put out by MK Zvika Fogel (Otzma Yehudit) has drawn harsh condemnation from Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara, igniting another source of conflict between Israel’s legislative and judicial branches.
Zvika Fogel, a Jewish Force MK, has introduced a law that would shield Israel’s security forces from prosecution if they carry out their duty during an operation or terrorist assault.
The attorney general is worried about such a law’s global effects and ramifications.
The Attorney General claimed that the measure would negatively affect IDF troops’ status and subject them to extraterritorial criminal prosecution.
Legal sources state that the reputation and independence of Israel’s Supreme Court and the military prosecutor’s office have prevented the International Court of Justice in The Hague and other foreign legal authorities from bringing cases against Israeli soldiers until now.
While there would be no Israeli legal entity to look into the soldiers’ acts in Israel, they claim that if this measure were to pass, it would allow IDF soldiers to be tried in international courts.
MK Fogel states in the bill’s explanatory notes: “It is intolerable that after performing his duty during an operation or a terrorist attack, a security force member is brought away from the site in handcuffs.
Therefore, it is unacceptable that members of the security forces are subjected to protracted interrogations while being tortured and that jurors, rather than senior officers who have had firsthand experience in combat and are familiar with the dynamics that arise on the battlefield, make decisions regarding their cases.
“Incidents that happen in the operational area should not be brought to the legal arena,” said Major General Uzi Dayan in his evidence during the soldier Elor Azaria’s trial.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss and decide upon the bill today.