Britain to act against arrest warrants targeting Israeli officials 27Nov10 November 29, 2010

IMEMC -  27 November 2010

The Jewish Chronicle reported that the United Kingdom will be taking measures meant to prevent British courts from issuing arrest warrants against Israeli military and political leaders accused of committing war crimes.

The Chronicle stated that starting next week, the British Interior Ministry will issue a new legislation to “reform the legal international jurisdiction” as part of reforms targeting the jurisdiction of British Police.

The new draft is awaiting final approval by British Parliamentarians while coalition ministers are trying to have certain related laws approved as fast as possible. An important law they are trying to pass is requiring such warrants to be must be authorized by the General Prosecutors’ Office.

Earlier this month, British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, visited Israel and the Israeli government declared that it halted all strategic talks with Britain until London provides guarantees that Israeli officials will not face arrest should they visit the country.

In December of last year, former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, had to cancel a trip to London fearing that she would be arrested due to a lawsuit against her for war crimes against the Palestinians during the war on Gaza.

Earlier this month, Israeli Intelligence Chief, Dan Meridor, was also obliged to cancel a trip to London for the same reason.

The Jewish Chronicle reported that the former British Government under Gordon Brown vowed to change the law that allows issuing arrest warrants against Israeli officials, but could not do before the general elections due to objections made by former Justice Minister, Jack Straw.

The Current coalition government, headed by David Cameron, stated that it intends to conduct reforms regarding arrest warrants against international officials, mainly Israeli, and will present new drafts in this regard in the near future.


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