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War crimes warrants could 'harm' UK-Israeli relations

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War crimes warrants could 'harm' UK-Israeli relations


Israel is warning that diplomatic relations with the UK could be harmed if there are any more attempts to pursue war crimes charges against Israeli leaders.

The row follows the issue of an arrest warrant for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni by a British court over Israel’s incursion into Gaza last winter.

The former foreign minister, who did not refer to the warrant directly, said:
“The operation in Gaza was an essential operation. The operation in Gaza achieved its objective, the objective was to restore Israel’s deterrence.”

The warrant has since been revoked, as Livni cannot be arrested, but the Israeli government has condemned the whole process as ‘cynical’.

Yuli Edelstein, Israeli minister of information, said:
“For those of my counterparts who would say it has nothing to do with the relations between the countries, I want to warn, – it is not the first case – and will, in the end, influence relations, the good relations, between the two countries.”

Tzipi Livni was Israel’s foreign minister during operation Cast Lead in which 1400 Palestinians are said by human rights groups to have died.

Pro Palestinian campaigners in London have attempted several times to use the UK’s legal system to bring alleged offenders to book under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

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