Israel’s former Defence Minister Amir Peretz is reported to have fled Britain to avoid an arrest warrant in relation to war crimes committed during Israel’s war on Lebanon. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4091748,00.html
It was also reported that Israel’s Foreign and Defence Ministries were warned of the arrest in enough time to bundle Peretz out of Britain. News of Amir Peretz’ ignominious departure followed the non-appearance of Israeli General (res) Danny Rothschild at a meeting organised by the Henry Jackson Society in Parliament last night (5 July).
Sarah Colborne, PSC Director, said:
‘Did Amir Peretz and Danny Rothschild both flee the country to avoid arrest warrants? If so, this cowardice stands in sharp contradiction to the stance of Sheikh Raed Salah, who has insisted on staying in this country and going through the correct legal channels. No wonder that the Israeli government have been pressing the British government to change our law on universal jurisdiction, to make it more difficult to bring those suspected of war crimes to justice.
It is deeply damaging to the British Government’s reputation that it has succumbed to this pressure, rather than asserting its obligation to bring war criminals to justice, of whatever nationality.
Furthermore, if Israeli authorities were in fact tipped off about an arrest warrant for Amir Peretz, enabling him to avoid justice, this raises even more serious concerns. The British Government stands accused of blatant double-standards by detaining a Palestinian leader, apparently on the basis of smears and allegations, whilst attempting to make it more difficult to bring Israeli war criminals to justice’