Associated Press today carried news of a group of Norwegian lawyers who have filed a complaint Wednesday accusing 10 Israelis of war crimes in Gaza under the country's new universal jurisdiction law, officials said.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni were among those named in the complaint, the lawyers said.
Chief prosecutor Siri Frigaard told The Associated Press that she will now determine if there are grounds for charges or a police investigation. It was not clear how long the process would take.
The Israeli Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One of the attorneys who filed the complaint, Bent Endresen, said a Norwegian law that went into effect last year allows foreigners to face charges in Norway for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.
"There was a legal change that now gives a universal jurisdiction" for such war crimes, he said by telephone.
In a statement, the lawyers claim that Olmert, Livni, Barak and seven Israel military officers shared responsibility for "massive terror attacks primarily directed at Gaza's population."
Gaza officials say about 1,300 Palestinian civilians died in the Israeli offensive in December and January. Israel has said the toll was lower, and the "vast majority" of the dead were militants.
The lawyers' statement said the complaint also covered killing civilians, destruction of property, use of banned weapons and attacks on such protected institutions as hospitals.
The lawyers also claimed that Israeli leaders "knew about, ordered or approved the actions in Gaza and that they had considered the consequences."
Norway's Foreign Ministry said the complaint was a matter for the legal system and not the government.
Source: Associated Press