Photo: Tzvika Tishler
Decided to make the trip. Yaalon
Photo: Tzvika Tishler
Photo: Zoom 77
Alan Baker
Photo: Zoom 77

Canada asked to detain former IDF head

Arabs, Jews representing left-wing organizations ask Canadian government to detain former Chief of Staff Yaalon upon his expected arrival in Toronto for suspicion of committing war crimes. Yaalon consults Israeli ambassador in Ottawa, decides make trip anyway

WASHINGTON - A group of left-wing organizations, mostly Arabs, some Jewish, called on the Canadian government to detain former Chief of Staff Moshe (Bugi) Yaalon who is planning to visit Toronto on Wednesday to appear in synagogue for a fundraising event for the benefit of wounded IDF soldiers.


The organizations claim that their request to ban Yaalon from entering Canada is based on the Canadian law which prohibits entrance of people suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They asked authorities to detain Yaalon if he enters Canada.


Yaalon consulted with the Israeli ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, who is an expert in international law and served up to two year ago as the Foreign Ministry's legal advisor on the subject, opposite the British, the Belgians, and others.


Baker said that that he has no knowledge of any request to the Canadian officials on the matter and added that in practicality, the Canadian law is very strict and in order ban Yaalon from entering, there is need for a signature of the Canadian immigration minister. In order to detain Yaalon on Canadian soil, a court order signed by the Canadian minister of justice is needed.


'I explained the legal process to him' 


Yaalon, on his part, decided to make the trip to Canada and speak in "Bet Emeth" synagogue. He will be greeted outside the synagogue by many protestors planning to jeer him and carry signs like "war criminal, you're not welcome in Canada."


In an interview to Ynet from the Canadian capital Ottawa, Ambassador Baker explained: "We have no indication that a request to ban or detain has been submitted. Such a decision is made by a government minister and the criterions are very strict. It's not a short or simple process. I suppose that the protestors will be loud, but I'm used to it. They even protest against me because I live a settlement and because of the security fence.


I don't believe that Yaalon will be served with an arrest warrant. I explained the legal process to him and he decided to make the visit."


Lately there have been two incidents in which IDF senior officers canceled their trip to Britain. Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi cancelled his studies in Britain fearing he would be detained and tried for alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories. Former Southern Command Chief, Major-General Doron Almog, who was on his way to London last September, also canceled his trip upon hearing that a Muslim organization served a lawsuit against him for "military operations against the Palestinian people."


The concern of detaining senior officers also exits in other countries like Spain and France. 


פרסום ראשון: 03.22.06, 09:47
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