The minister in charge of the now-defunct peace process, Tzipi Livni, may have immunity in London, but it cannot prevent protests against her.
Pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated against Livni and her visit to the British capital on Thursday. They carried signs saying, among other things, "wanted" and "war criminal" with Livni's image.
(Photo: AFP)Livni was not surprised of the protests, as pro-Palestinian organizations have been preparing for the justice minister's visit to Britain for a long time.
According to an American official, Livni met with US Secretary of State John Kerry while in London. Kerry also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the British capital in a separate meeting the day before.
The State Department said both meetings, that took place while peace talks were frozen, were "informal."
US officials worked to lower expectations to the meetings and to the possibility a breakthrough in talks could come out of them. According to the sources, "in his meeting with Abbas last night, Kerry reiterated his position that any Palestinians government must recognize Israel, commit to non-violence and honor previous agreements."
While Abbas agrees to these conditions, his new unity government partners, Hamas, oppose them.
Livni received temporary diplomatic immunity from the British government ahead of her visit, to protect her from being arrested and charged for violation of international law, including for war crimes.
In 2009, Livni, who was foreign minister during Israel's Operation Cast Lead, cancelled a planned visit to London after an arrest warrant was issued against her.
In 2011, Livni, then the head of the opposition, arrived in London and had to face demands for an arrest warrant and protests against her at 10 Downing Street.
Since then, the British government amended the law so Israeli officials could not be arrested over charges of war crimes, and decided to grant Israeli ministers special immunity to prevent an arrest.