Attempts to arrest Israeli officials visiting the UK

December 17, 2009

February 2004
Application fails at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court for arrest warrant against General Shaul Mofaz, then Israeli Defence Minister.

September 2005
Doron Almog, a former IDF head of southern command, remains on an El Al jet at Heathrow before immediately returning to Israel after being informed police have a warrant to arrest him in connection with alleged breaches of Geneva Convention during operations in Gaza in 2002. Israel accuses Foreign Office of colluding with pro-Palestinian activists. Israeli senior official tells JC: “It looks like a conspiracy.”

February 2006
Former Gaza commander Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi cancels intended enrolment at Royal College of Defence Studies after being advised he could face prosecution.

February 2009
Retired Israeli reserve colonel Geva Rapp is forced to flee Britain halfway through a scheduled six-day visit to Britain to speak to students amid fears he could be arrested. A Jewish student centre in Euston is attacked by demonstrators who believe Col Rapp is inside.

September 2009
Lawyers acting for 16 Palestinian families apply unsuccessfully to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for arrest warrant for Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak as he attends Labour Party conference.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband tells Labour Friends of Israel fringe meeting: “This will never become a country where ministers of Israel are unable to come and have a proper dialogue with the government of the UK.”

October 2009
Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon, a former IDF chief of staff, cancels trip to speak at JNF charity dinner in London after being advised by Israeli special inter-departmental team that he could be exposed to an arrest warrant.

December 2009
Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancels appearance at JNF conference in London over fears that pro-Palestinian lawyers will seek to have her arrested. Lawyers do obtain an arrest warrant, but it is annulled when magistrates realise Ms Livni did not enter Britain.

    Last updated: 4:45pm, December 17 2009