January 5, 2010
Warrants Keep Israeli War Criminals Out of the UK
Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appealed to the British government to ensure that the officers, including a colonel, lieutenant colonel and a major, would be able to stay in the country without arrest fear.
Britain, however, did not make such a promise.
The incident provoke anger among Israeli officials who cried that the British legal system's acceptance of pro-Palestinian group's lawsuits was threatening to "undermine relations" between London and Tel Aviv.
"Should we not get the appropriate securities and if the British law remains unchanged, Israeli officers and seniors will not be able to travel to Britain, which would undermine the good relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said Tuesday.
Last month, Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a statement and called for an end to the "absurd situation" in which arrest warrants were being issued against Israeli officials.
The statement followed an arrest warrant against Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni who canceled her participation in a Jewish conference in London.
The warrant was issued for "war crimes" committed when she was foreign minister during Israel's December 2007-January 2008 offensive against the Gaza Strip which left over 1,350 Palestinians dead.
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