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The Long Arm of the Law?

category international | crime and justice | news report author Monday September 19, 2005 12:14author by iosaf

Yesterday saw quite a lot of near panic amongst a certain class of political leader in Israel, which resulted from the near arrest of Doron Almog, former commander of the IDF in the gaza strip.

A private law suit brought on behalf of 900 Palestinian children meant the moment he got off his plane, he was to be arrested. & the UK Home Office weren't going to get in the way.

The implications are huge.

The facts are:-
A London magistrate issued a warrant for the arrest of Doron Almog over his role in a 2002 bombing raid that killed 15 Palestinians, many of them children.

An Israeli peace movement (Yesh Gvul) http://www.yeshgvul.org/english/ is also compiling a case with London lawyers against chief of staff Dan Halutz, and his predecessor, Moshe Yaalon, over their role in the same operation.
I am intrigued by this case.
I am intrigued by this case.

We are almost back to the way in which Pinochet was house arrested in the UK on Garzón's petition.

We are almost looking at restricted movement for Sharon, Thatcher and the whole lot...

Tellingly the UK Home Secretary has not assured Ariel Sharon (or anyone one else) that they will be afforded immunity should they visit.

Here's a summary of what's happened and is happening -

Tzipi Livni is Israel's justice minister, born 1958 she has two children and served as a Mossad employee from 1980 to 1984, she was elected to teh Knesset in 1989 and has served as a minister without portfolio, minister for information, minster for migrant absorption and currently minister for justice.

Yesterday she convened Israel's top legal experts to formulate a response to Almog's case, which Israel believes may presage other attempts to prosecute its top brass in Britain on allegations of war crimes in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

"It is unconscionable that an Israeli who served as a soldier must fear to set foot in a friendly nation," Livni said.

&...
"The Brits, who are fighting international terrorism, cannot legitimise this when their soldiers are in Iraq. In the end it will be like a boomerang that will come back to haunt them," as she was quoted in the Yediot Aharonot daily.

(do remember the British have been accused in the last two weeks at top diplomatic level of sponsering state terrorism)

The Israelis position is that such private law suits legitimise terror.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3141690,00.html
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=14532

more:-

"British lawyers helped the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights http://www.pchrgaza.org/ collect evidence against Almog following years of failing to get the case heard in Israel. Britain allows legal investigations against foreign nationals provided that the defendant's own country is unwilling or unable to handle such complaints.

"We represent hundreds of Palestinian victims and have no intention of limiting our suits before foreign courts to General Almog, given that the Israeli courts have ignored our pleas," the centre's director, Raji Surani, said.

more on the Yesh Gvul case:-

"Given that all our appeals to Israeli justice to prosecute the two generals have been in vain, the courts using delaying tactics, we are taking our proceedings abroad," said official Yoav Hess.

A complaint was filed against Halutz with Israel's Supreme Court in 2004 after he boasted that those who carried out the 2002 raid could "sleep well at night" after a perfectly executed raid.

And yet Another anti-torture group has petitioned Israeli courts in vain for four years to outlaw "targeted killings" of Palestinian militants and categorise them as war crimes."

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How it might go-

1) Israel's parliamentary defence committee has proposed criminalising cooperation with foreign war crimes suits by Israeli citizens (yesh gvul)

2) the UK changes the law to oblige the attorney-general approve any such warrants.

3) the UK makes a list of states considered to observe due process of the law, and declares them exempt from war crimes suits filed privately.
{Israel gets on the list}

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Now perhaps people will start leaving troll comments, thats normal whenever we have Isreali news, if they break the rules they get deleted.
But do note, that "leftwing" Israelis are the most likely to suffer legal and rights restricitions in this case. It would seem "just" that those commentators who support the Palestinians so, bear that in mind...


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