A complaint was filed in Belgian court against 14 Israeli leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were among those charged with war crimes committed during the Gaza war in the winter of 2008-09, the French daily Le Monde reported. Former Gen. Matan Vilnai and other Israeli army leaders, politicians and intelligence officials also were included on the list.
Two lawyers representing 13 family members of victims of an Israeli army bombing of a mosque near the Jabaliya refugee camp during the war said they filed their complaints Wednesday in Brussels, according to reports.
A Belgian doctor with Palestinian roots also is among the complainants. He claims that Israeli forces destroyed his family’s olive fields.
Much of the 70-page complaint is based on the Goldstone report, according to the French news agency AFP. The report by a U.N. commission led by former South African justice Richard Goldstone accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.
Iran Seen as Advancing Toward Weapons-Grade Uranium
Iran reportedly has succeeded in enriching uranium to a level of purity that the West sees as a significant step toward producing weapons-grade enriched uranium.
The more than 37 pounds of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level of purity will be used as fuel for a medical research reactor, Iranian officials said in February, when the new enrichment was ordered begun by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The uranium was re-enriched from a 5 percent level of purity. Weapons-grade enriched uranium must reach 90 percent purity.
The announcement reportedly appeared Wednesday in the state-run ISNA Iranian student news agency.
Iran says it is developing its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.
The United Nations Security Council earlier this month approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in protest of its nuclear development.
Rabbi in Australia Cleared of Fraud
An American-born rabbi living in Australia has been cleared of multiple fraud-related charges over a Hebrew school.
Rabbi Yossi Engel and his wife, Chana, were cleared Tuesday in Magistrates’ Court in Adelaide on 39 counts of dishonestly dealing with documents relating to the Spirit of David Hebrew School, which prosecutors claimed was a scam in order to receive government grants of $50,000.
The case against the Engels was dismissed after police tendered no evidence, despite an investigation dating back several years.
“I can get on with serving the people of South Australia,” Rabbi Engel said outside the court. “My name is now clear. I’m incredibly grateful to God for this, and I’m extremely happy now that I’m able to do what I want to do, which is serve the people of South Australia and the Jewish community here.”
The Engels maintained their innocence from the moment the allegations were raised in 2007.
Engel, 41, a Chabad-Lubavitcher from New York, moved to Adelaide in 1998 and was appointed to the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation, but his tenure was terminated in December 2006, sparking an acrimonious legal battle that split the community and wound up in the Supreme Court of South Australia. The judge ruled in favor of the city’s only Orthodox synagogue.
Engel then opened his own Chabad congregation, which is believed to draw 30 to 40 worshipers on Shabbat.
Adelaide, a dwindling Jewish community on the edge of the Australian Outback, has fewer than 1,000 members, a small Jewish school that has been battling to stave off closure and a Progressive temple.