Thursday, May 5, 2011

Israeli military attaché skips UK visit

Israeli prime minister's military attaché Yohanan Locker

Source: Press TV

Israeli military attaché has failed to travel to London with his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over fears that he will be arrested over Operation Cast Lead war crimes in Gaza.

Yohanan Locker played a major role during Israel's 22-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 that killed over 1,400 Palestinian civilians.

Locker said he preferred to stay home because he feared arrest in Britain.

British law allows private citizens to secure arrest warrants for visiting foreign officials whom they accuse of war crimes or crimes against humanity, something pro-Palestinian activists have done in recent years.

Since several Israeli politicians and military officers cancelled trips to London, the British government, under Prime Minister David Cameron, has begun to enact legislation to curb British magistrates' “universal jurisdiction” powers.

The British Foreign Office had nothing to comment on the report as Britain is seeking an amendment to nullify the law that allows Israelis to be prosecuted in the UK for war crimes.

An amendment was approved by the House of Commons in the beginning of April. It has been sent to the House of Lords for final approval, which couldtake months.

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