Tuesday, 6th October , 2009 , 02:08 [am] | International
Israel’s vice-prime minister has cancelled a planned trip to London over fears of being arrested for alleged war crimes
Moshe Yaalon called off the trip fearing that pro-Palestinian groups in London might seek his trial for his role in the 2002 deaths of 15 people, including a Hamas leader and eight children.
Yaalon was the military chief-of-staff when an Israeli fighter jet dropped a one-tonne bomb in Gaza City, killing Salah Shehadeh, the head of the armed wing of Hamas, along with his wife.
Israel’s foreign ministry advised against the planned trip after it emerged that Yaalon, who is also strategic affairs minister, had been invited to attend a fund-raising dinner hosted by the British branch of the Jewish National Fund.
Last Tuesday Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, dismissed a bid to have him arrested in Britain as “absurd” while attending the governing Labour party’s annual conference.
British activists had sought his arrest over Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip in December-January, where more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.
The request was denied on the grounds of diplomatic immunity.aljazeera, Voice of a Nation