A former Israeli soldier was held on arrival in the UK and questioned over alleged “war crimes” during the 2014 conflict in Gaza.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the officer wasIFG detained for for a number of hours before being released after intervention by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. According to the newspaper, British authorities later issued an apology.
It is believed that the former solider had been placed on a list issued by pro-Palestinian organisations identifying IDF troops involved in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
The news comes just days after the High Level Military Group [HLMG]— comprised of 11 retired top-ranking army officials from Germany, Colombia, India, Spain, Australia, the United States, France, Italy and the UK— found that Israel had not only strictly followed the laws of armed conflict during the Gaza conflict, but far surpassed their requirements.
The HLMG found that the IDF showed far higher levels of restraint than other armies, citing Israel’s “knock on the roof” technique of dropping a non-explosive ordnance to alert civilians prior to any bombings, telephone calls and leafleting to limit non-combatant casualties.
Palestinian human rights groups have long aimed to get Israelis arrested on arrival in the UK over alleged “war crimes” – because of the law on universal jurisdiction.
Last year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office gave “special mission” status to visiting Israeli minister Tzipi Livni, after arrest warrants were sought for her involvement in the 2008/9 Gaza military campaign ‘Operation Cast Lead.’
Addressing universal jurisdiction during a visit to the Knesset in 2014, David Cameron said: “Senior Israelis could not safely come to my country without fear of ideologically motivated court cases and legal stunts. When I became prime minister I legislated to change it. My country is open to you. And you are welcome to visit any time.”