Parliament rejects debate on Bibi arrest


Parliament will not debate a petition which called for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes, despite more than 100,000 people backing it.

A parliamentary spokesperson said that, because the petition called for action which was not possible for the government to take under international or UK law, the issue would not be debated.

During his three-day visit last week, Mr Netanyahu met British Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10, with the two leaders discussing Islamic extremism and Middle East peace.

Mr Netanyahu told his opposite number he opposed the Iran nuclear deal, which Britain had supported. He said: "The Middle East is disintegrating under the twin forces of militant Islam: the militant Sunnis led by Daesh and the militant Shiites led by Iran".

However, a Downing Street spokesperson said: "On Iran, they recognised that while there were differences in their approach, both shared the objective of greater stability in the region, and agreed that it was in the interests of all that Iran allowed regular inspections of its nuclear facilities."

The Israeli Prime Minister also told Mr Cameron that was he was ready to meet Palestinian leaders for talks immediately, "with no conditions".

This was a point he also emphasised during a later meeting with members of British parliamentary friendship associations, which was attended by Lords and around 120 cross-party MPs.

The two prime ministers also pledged to work more closely together on cybersecurity, with the UK sending a delegation of experts to Israel in December.

The Times of Israel website suggested Mr Netanyahu clashed with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis over settlements in a meeting with communal leaders. But rival site Arutz Sheva said there had been no disagreement. A spokesperson for Rabbi Mirvis said he would not comment on what was a private meeting.

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