Next Monday, October 31, the Supreme Court will be conducting a hearing pertaining to an appeal submitted by Prof. Yair Auron and Attorney Eitay Mack, concerning Israel’s defense exports to the former Yugoslavia during the war in Bosnia 20 years ago. In the course of that war serious war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed (in particular ethnic cleansing, genocide, and mass rape). The appeal was filed after Judge Avigail Cohen rejected the petition on the matter. In the hearing before Judge Cohen, the Ministry of Defense admitted that the documents requested by the petitioners pertaining to Israel’s security exports during the Bosnian war had indeed been found, but adamantly refused to disclose them on the grounds that “disclosure may harm foreign relations and security of the state”.
Between 1991 and 1995, Yugoslavia was transformed from a multinational socialist state to a society torn apart by civil war, which soon degenerated into violence, mass killings, and ultimately genocide. All sides committed crimes during the war, but there is no dispute that the majority of crimes were committed by Serbian forces. Among other things, the Serbs committed rapid and massive ethnic cleansing of Muslim and Croat populations, set up camps in which torture, rape, and mass executions were committed, and carried out a massacre of the Muslim population in the Srebrenica region which has been recognized as an instance of as genocide by the international community.
From the beginning, Israel didn’t participate in the condemnation of the Serbs by the international community. Israel actually expressed public support for the Serbian position and refused to condemn the Serbian forces and their crimes, and the her support wasn’t limited to diplomatic backing. Over the years, reports have been published in Israel and abroad about the defense exports by Israel to the former Yugoslavia, in particular to Serbia and the Serbian militias during the period of the civil war in Bosnia. This is, in fact, an open secret. There is no doubt that Israel and the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs knew very well what was happening in Bosnia while it was going on, and had to know what Israel’s defense exports were intended for. This was unavoidable given the dozens of resolutions being put forth to the UN Security Council on the situation in Bosnia and, in light of the fact that the war took place in the backyard of Europe, it can be said that this was one of the most intensively covered wars of the 20th century.
According to Attorney Mack, ” Israel’s defense exports during the Bosnian war were a grave breach of international law, the embargo declared by the UN Security Council – in fact at the very beginning of the war – and contrary to human morality. In our opinion, this breach cannot be ignored. This hidden episode must be fully exposed and the culprits must be brought to justice.” Attorney Mack added: “The presence of citizens in the upcoming hearing is extremely vital. To prevent future defense exports by Israel contrary to human morality and international law, the dark chapters of Israeli defense exports in the past must be brought to light.”
The appeal hearing regarding opening the documents which expose Israeli defense exports during the war in Bosnia (AAA 4928/15) will be held on Monday, October 31, at 11:30, at the Supreme Court Building in Jerusalem, before Judges Fogelman, Danziger and Mazuz.
For further information, contact Attorney Eitay Mack at Tel: 972-50-7583741 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org