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Livni's Belgium trip almost cancelled due to lawsuit concerns
Foreign minister's visit to Brussels nearly canceled due to report she may face legal action over Israeli offensive in Gaza. Report deemed false, Livni to address EU foreign ministers as scheduled

Israel's concerns about possible international lawsuits following Operation Cast Lead is apparently growing, as even the fate of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's  trip to Brussels remained vague until the very last minute, fearing she may face legal action in Belgium for alleged war crimes.

 

Livni's trip was put on hold Wednesday, after a Nazareth journalist reported the foreign minister may face legal action when she arrives in Belgium.

 

Israel's Ambassador to Brussels Tamar Samash, European Union Ambassador Ran Curiel and the Justice Ministry immediately began looking into the report, which turned out to be bogus; allowing Livni and other Foreign Ministry official to make their way to Belgium as planned.

 

Israel's relations with Belgium suffered a blow after a Brussels court granted a war crimes suit against former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

 

The Foreign Ministry said that "claims of this nature against Israeli citizens and IDF officers in Belgium are familiar and are being dealt with."

 

Livni is expected to address 27 European foreign ministers Wednesday night, in an attempt to enlist their support against the arms smuggling into Gaza Strip. An agreement to that effect was struck with EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana earlier in the week.

 

The European Union ministers are expected to pledge their cooperation. Israel and the US have signed a memorandum to that effect as well.

 

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said recently that Israel was preparing for a slew of international lawsuit following the Israeli offensive in Gaza; and Jerusalem has even issued a travel advisory for top IDF officials, urging them to refrain from visiting several European countries.

 

As part of the legal provision made to thwart any future lawsuit, the defense establishment decided to bar the media from showing the faces of officers who took part in the operation.

 


פרסום ראשון: 01.21.09, 16:49
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