U.K. To Change Controversial War Crime Law

Published: November 4th 2010
in News » World

British Foreign Secretary William Hague

Israel's government said on Thursday that it appreciated a promise from visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague to revise a contentious law stating that Israeli officials be arrested upon entering London.


"Israel welcomes the British government's explicit commitment to amend the universal jurisdiction law," said a statement released after Hague met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv said.


The law in question states that individuals can be prosecuted for crimes committed abroad. Pro-Palestinian organizations in Britain have used the law to obtain arrest warrants for war crimes issued against visiting Israeli officials. As such, several Israeli officials have had to cancel scheduled visits to the U.K.


The most recent was Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who just this week canceled a trip to London for fear he would be arrested for war crimes.


Israel has said it will postpone any strategic dialogue with Britain until the law has been amended.


"It is a real problem when Israeli officials cannot travel to Britain, and so long as the problem exists, it will harm relations between the two countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said on Wednesday.


Netanyahu's office said Thursday that he and Hague’s meeting had been "productive.”

Related articles: (Hague, war crime, Meridor, Britain)
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