It is noteworthy that even the Israeli judge, Aharon Barak, joined the International Court of Justice (making it 16-1) on the points of preventing and punishing incitement to genocidal acts and allowing enough humanitarian aid to stop severe deprivation. https://t.co/2tqmN3cg7J
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 26, 2024
A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court today ended the secrecy of a four-month-old ruling in which it acknowledged and condoned the fact that Israel was holding Lebanese men, some for as long as a decade, solely as a ”bargaining card.”
The ruling was the first official confirmation that the Lebanese, who number 21, according to their lawyer, are being held solely in case they can be used in a prisoner exchange or in some other deal with guerrillas fighting Israeli forces in Lebanon.
The existence of the group has been reported from time to time, in Israeli newspapers and in human-rights reports, but the reason for their captivity has been secret.
The panel’s decision, written by Chief Justice Aharon Barak, was reached last November, and was made public today only after repeated appeals by the lawyer for the Lebanese, Zvi Rish.
Most of the detainees belong to Hezbollah, the Islamic movement that is waging a war to oust Israel from its self-proclaimed security zone in southern Lebanon. But the court acknowledged that the Lebanese themselves did not pose a threat to Israeli security.
Such a hostage, Justice Barak wrote, was a ”bargaining card” — ”captured to achieve a goal, and not himself the target.” [Continue reading…]