UK lawyer targets Israeli embassy
Daniel Machover acting on behalf of Palestinian group "demands to know" how Israel's ambassador became aware of arrest and returned to Israel; Israel based far left group Yesh Gvul said it also initiated legal proceedings in UK court against Chief of Staff Halutz and former chief of staff Yaalon
The Yesh Gvul far left group announced Tuesday morning that its members have submitted complaints to a British court against IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and former chief of staff Moshe Yaalon.
Yishai Menuhin, spokesman of Yesh Gvul, said, “We have passed on to British lawyers the story of the attempted assassination of Hamas chief Salah Shehadeh in which a bomb weighing a ton was dropped in the heart of a Gaza neighborhood (in 2002), after we despaired of the High Court.”
“If someone is disturbed by injustice, the next stop for them is a foreign court. A year ago we became interested in the courts of other countries. One of the options was England, where we found a law firm that was tied to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. They took on the case of the assassination of Shehadeh,” said Menuhin.
“The minute that the High Court again froze dealings with the story last week, we began proceedings (in Britain). What matters to us is the claim that Dan Halutz and Moshe Yaalon took the decision to assassinate Shahada without giving thought to those who were innocent. We hope that, in the same way that the British judge decided to order an arrest warrant against Dron Almog, he will also decide to dispatch warrants against Halutz and Yaalon,” added Menuhin.
British lawyer 'demands investigation'
Meanwhile, the British Guardian newspaper has published a report Tuesday morning claiming that Daniel Machover, the lawyer who requested that an arrest warrant be produced against Major General Doron Almog, has demanded that a criminal investigation be opened against Israel’s ambassador in London, Zvi Hefetz, and the staff of the Israeli embassy, for helping Almog avoid arrest.
Almog arrived at London’s Heathrow airport on a two day private visit, but decided to return home immediately after landing, when he learned that a legal charge had been placed against him by a Palestinian organization, charging the general with “war crime charges” during “military activity against the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli embassy’s military attaché informed Almog that a British court had taken out an injunction for his arrest, and Almog immediately returned to Israel before British authorities had an opportunity to arrest him.
Daniel Machover, the lawyer acting on behalf of the Muslim organization behind the charges, demanded that the investigation focus on the question of who leaked the information to the Israeli embassy, and how an Israeli diplomat circumvented the various security stages in order to get to the El Al jet containing Almog, and inform him of the threat he faced.
Sources from the Foreign Ministry have said that the ambassador in London had solid information on British intentions to arrest Almog.
Human rights group Amnesty International, also criticized British police for not arresting Almog. “He should have been arrested; according to British law there is no reason not to arrest him the minute he was on British soil,” the group in a statement.
The far left Yesh Gvul organization told Ynet that “the train has left the station, with the injunction in England against the former southern commander, Doron Almog, on suspicion for war crimes. Eight further cases aimed at other Israeli officers have already been presented to police in England,” said the group.
“These are the first planks and the train is long. The High Court, which has so far evaded holding a session on IDF war crimes, should see itself responsible for the fact that the search for justice is conducted in England today, and no in the halls of justice in Israel,” a Yesh Gvul representative told Ynet.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, speaking at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herziliya, said, “an Israeli citizen could not step onto British soil because he was a soldier in the past. This is not acceptable to me as justice minister and we don’t plant to ignore it.”
"It is my intention to deal see that the Europeans solve the issue,” she said.
'The British are confused'
Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boyam, responding to the British arrest warrant issued against Major General Doron Almog, said, “it seems that the British are confused. I would have thought that especially after the London terror attacks, they would be able to distinguish between terrorist and victim.”
Boyam spoke with the Defense Ministry’s legal advisor and asked him to examine the threat of arrest against IDF officers. “It’s time to put a limit to acts by the Yesh Gvul (Hebrew for ‘there’s a limit’) movement,” he said.