Jerusalem: Israel said on Tuesday that an arrest
warrant was issued in Britain against former Foreign Minister
Tzipi Livni, and warned that attempts to pursue war crimes
charges against Israeli leaders in British courts threatens to
harm relations between the two countries.
Israel urged Britain to change the law, which has allowed
Palestinians to pursue charges against non-citizens for
alleged crimes committed outside its borders. The threat
already has caused several Israeli officials and retired
military commanders to call off trips to Britain.
Livni, a onetime lead negotiator with the Palestinians,
enjoys a dovish reputation in much of the West. But as foreign
minister, she staunchly defended Israel`s devastating military
offensive in Gaza early this year. Her support for that
operation, meant to end years of rocket fire by Gaza militants
against Israel, has remained strong, despite widespread
international criticism of the hundreds of civilian
Livni stepped down after February parliamentary elections
and is now Israel`s opposition leader.
Livni`s office refused to confirm reports in Arab media
yesterday that she had been forced to call off a trip to
London because of legal concerns. Instead, it said the trip
was cancelled for unrelated reasons.