naveh - Dan Keinan - November 29 2010
Yair Naveh. Photo by Dan Keinan
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A number of prominent intellectuals, and left-wing activists and movements petitioned the High Court of Justice yesterday against the appointment of Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh as deputy chief of staff.

The petitioners argue that when serving as GOC Central Command, Naveh violated a court ruling on the Israel Defense Forces' assassination policy, as well as Israeli and international law, in an incident first revealed by Haaretz two years ago. They wrote that Naveh's slated appointment is immoral, inappropriate and must be canceled.

Among the petitioners are former minister Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery and the Yesh Gvul and Gush Shalom movements. The petitions was submitted by attorneys Omer Shatz and Yiftah Cohen.

The petition is based on the findings of an investigation by Haaretz journalist Uri Blau, which found that Naveh and other IDF senior officers allegedly authorized the assassination of wanted Palestinians who could be arrested, while taking into account the likelihood of death or injury to innocent bystanders. This would contradict a verdict rendered by the High Court in 2006 - which set forth guidelines concerning the activities security forces should conduct in such situations - as well as international and Israeli criminal law.

The petitioners argued that Naveh never refuted the claims against him. They say the Haaretz report suggests that top officers in the IDF, led by him, violated the court's instructions and thus committed gravest criminal offenses. They conclude the appointment cannot be allowed to go forward when the suspicions against Naveh were never properly investigated at all - most certainly not via a process independent of the military.

No comment on the petition was received from the IDF before press time.