In news which has slightly slipped under the radar given the dramatic events over the weekend, it’s been revealed that a Spanish judge has effectively put out an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu and six other current and former government officials now risk being arrested if they ever step foot in Spain.
According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the issue all stems from an attack by Israeli security forces against the Freedom Flotilla aid ships in 2010, which were trying to reach Gaza.
One of the six ships attempting to break an Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians, the Mavi Marmara, was a Turkish civilian ship carrying around 500 passengers.
The Israeli Defence Force stormed the ship in a raid which left nine human rights activists dead. A tenth activist died later that month due to wounds sustained in the raid. Relations between Israel and Turkey have never truly recovered since the unpleasant incident.
Three Spanish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara filed a lawsuit against Israel in 2010, but the case regarding the attack was put on hold last year. However the Herald Tribune report claims that the case will be reopened if Netanyahu or his cronies step onto Spanish soil, and the seven men would all potentially face charges in the case.
Spanish national court judge Jose de la Mata ordered the police and civil guard to notify him if Netanyahu and the six other individuals enter the country.
The other men named in the issue are former defence minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Avigdor Leiberman, former minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon, former interior minister Eli Yishai, minister without portfolio Benny Begin and vice admiral Marom Eliezer, who was in charge of the operation.
Speaking to the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon said:
We consider it to be a provocation. We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it cancelled. We hope it will be over soon.