"If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me."1 It would have been difficult to anticipate, at 9:30 a.m. on the morning of June 18, 2001, in the office of the Investigating Judge Sophie Huguet at the Brussels Palace of Justice, the far- reaching effects of the criminal complaint of 28 victims filed "against Ariel Sharon, Amos Yaron and all Israelis and Lebanese responsible'' for the massacres of Sabra and Shatila which took place on 16-18 September 1982. It would certainly have been hard to predict that the process would lead to a ruling of the Court of Cassation in February 2003 in favor of the plaintiffs, allowing the investigation and the trial to proceed; that the case would develop into the most serious crisis between Tel Aviv and a European capital since the establishment of the state of Israel; and that both the U.S. secretary of state and his defense counterpart would weigh in personally against the law on which the case was based. Nevertheless, one knew that the case would be an important test for international humanitarian law, for Belgian law, and
The Palestine Yearbook of International Law Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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