Arrest Warrants Cause IDF Officers To Cancel U.K. Trip

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published January 05, 2010.

Britain’s attorney general said Tuesday that she was aware of the urgent need to address the slew of arrest warrants being issued in her country against Israeli officials over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Attorney General Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland made her remarks after a delegation of senior Israel Defense Forces officers canceled a planned visit to the U.K. for fear they would be arrested upon landing.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Tuesday appealed to Scotland to find an immediate solution to the “intolerable” situation, warning that the U.K. legal system’s acceptance of pro-Palestinian group’s lawsuits threatened to “undermine relations” between the two countries.

“If the British law remains unchanged, this would undermine the good relations between the two countries who share common values and interests. The British must bear in mind that these visits serve both countries,” he said.

The Foreign Ministry last month called for an end to the “absurd situation” in which arrest warrants were being issued to Israeli officials over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

“Only actions can put an end to this absurd situation, which would have seemed a comedy of errors were it not so serious,” said the Foreign Ministry, a day after it emerged that opposition leader Livni had canceled her trip to Britain after the warrant was issued for her arrest.

In the wake of that incident, British authorities said they would seek to see amendment to the law enabling such warrants.



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