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Israeli AG must explain flotilla decision

Sept. 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Israel's top court Tuesday ordered the attorney general to explain why two prominent leaders were not tried for participating in the May 2010 flotilla.

The High Court of Justice said Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein must provide a more detailed reason why he chose not to prosecute Haneen Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament or Knesset, and Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Zoabi, an Arab member of the Knesset, and Salah were both aboard the Mari Marmara, which was part of a flotilla carrying 10,000 tons of aid to the Gaza Strip. The ship was boarded by Israeli naval commandos after the ship refused to divert to the Israeli port city of Ashdod. In the subsequent clash, nine activists were killed and seven commandos were injured.

A petition requesting the decision was filled with the court Monday by Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, activist Itamar Ben-Givir and the Movement for Our Land of Israel.

The three filed the petition as part of an attempt to force the state to file the case. They hope a fuller explanation of the state's decision will allow them to point out errors in its reasoning.

Previously, the attorney general's office had released a short statement regarding the decision without offering an explanation, the office's standard practice.

In a short two-page ruling, the court gave general guidelines on what had to be revealed, but gave the state the discretion not to reveal classified information. The court cited no legal precedents in its decision.

The state has 30 days to produce a more detailed explanation.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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