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A Swedish prosecutor, Henrik Attorps, has announced that he will open an investigation concerning actions by the Israeli military towards Swedish citizens and activists, in international waters, during the Freedom Flotillas to Gaza in 2010 and 2012.
The probe concerns several reported cases of aggravated assault, aggravated theft and violation of international law, with regard to the Geneva Conventions, according to which civilians must be protected during armed conflicts.
The probe would not look into charges of hijacking and illegal detention, which has been requested by Ship to Gaza Sweden and the 22 individual Swedish plaintiffs.
Ship to Gaza Sweden views this in a very positive way, as it is an acknowledgement of the crimes committed against the activists and human rights defenders. It shows that the Swedish judiciary system is showing a willingness to treat and investigate crimes committed by the Israeli state in the same way as others. However, says spokesperson Dror Feiler ”we also want to underline that hi-jacking and illegal detention was very obviously committed at the same events”.
Spokesperson Ann Ighe concludes: ”The big, underlying violation of international law is the besieging of the Gaza Strip, and the collective punishment of its people.”