Going against a recommendation issued by the Tel Aviv District Court, the State Prosecution decided Thursday evening to bar British lawyer Kate Maynard, who was behind the war-crimes charges against retired Israeli Major-General Doron Almog, from entering Israel. Maynard was ordered by the Prosecution to return to the UK immediately.
Maynard, who specializes in human rights and international law, was behind the lawsuit to arrest Almog upon his arrival in Britain last September.
At the time, Almog was advised by the Israeli Embassy in London to not leave the plane and to return to Israel immediately.
Maynard arrived in Israel Wednesday night to take part in an academic seminar on International Justice. In wake of the State's ruling to ban her entry, the British attorney decided not to submit another petition to court. She is set to return to Britain Thursday night.
Maynard was detained at the airport upon her arrival, and informed by security officers she will be deported to England.
Attorney Smadar Ben-Natan petitioned the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court on Maynard's behalf to overturn the Interior Ministry's decision to bar her from Israel, citing that Israeli law stipulates the interior minister can refuse foreign nationals entry only if he possesses concrete evidence that they constitute a security threat.
The Court initially allowed Maynard a limited stay in Israel till Sunday, although she had planned to stay longer, but later decided to turn the ruling into a recommendation to the state.
The State Prosecution, on its part, decided not to act on the Judge's recommendation and to order Maynard to leave the country.
Maynard intends to take legal measures in Britain, in order to make sure her entry to Israel is not prevented in the future.
Maynard's lawyer, Ban-Natan, said Thursday that "there is no legitimate reason to justify refusing her entry into Israel because her professional work is well-known, even if she is not a supporter of Israel," she said.
"The state has reached new restriction limits by using security explanations to limit academic freedom of expression," said Ben-Natan."