Scrolling news:

Palestine: Gaza casualty toll on the rise, Israeli strikes continue on day 20

Palestine: Eight Palestinians killed, dozens wounded Sunday

Eid moon sighting possiblities, Muslims in South Africa have declared Eid

Pakistan: More rain with thunder, lightening forecast in next 24 hours in Rawalpindi

Libya: US embassy evacuated after heavy violence

Palestine: List of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces between July 8 to July 27

Palestine: Two Palestinians beaten by Jewish mob in Jerusalem

Palestine: Reports show murder of 3 Israeli teenage settlers was not carried out by Hamas

Palestine: Remains of 85 Palestinians located under rubble of bombarded homes

Palestine: Ten Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestine: At least 15 kidnapped by Israeli forces from West Bank

Palestine: Palestinians pull over 140 bodies from under Gaza rubble, total killed 1000

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

UK accused of denigrating international law after granting immunity to Israeli minister accused of war crimes

30th May 2014

Tzipi Livni # William Hague
[Photo: Tzipi Livni was granted temporary diplomatic immunity to meet British Foreign Secretary, William Hague]

Elham Asaad Buaras

The UK Government has been accused of evading international law after it granted temporary diplomatic immunity to Israel’s Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, during her visit to London on May 14.

The Foreign Office (FCO) confirmed a day before Livni was due to meet with British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, that Livni has been assigned a  Special Mission Status, effectively diplomatic immunity against arrest and potential prosecution for alleged breaches of international law, including war crimes.

Livni was a member of the Israeli war cabinet that sanctioned the three week assault on Gaza (launched on December 27, 2008) in which more than a thousand non-combatant Palestinians were killed and over 5,000 were injured.

“Since the visit meets all the essential elements for a special mission, and for avoidance of any doubt on the matter, the FCO has confirmed consent to the visit as a special mission,” the FCO told The Muslim News.

The move comes amid efforts to secure a warrant for Livni’s arrest by London lawyers Hickman and Rose, acting on behalf of a relative of a Palestinian killed in the bombing of a police compound on the first day of the offensive known as Operation Cast Lead.

This is not the first time the UK Government intervened in the judicial system and awarded “special mission status” to protect Livni from international law.

In October 2011 she was also given Special Mission Status after an application was submitted for her arrest over “war crimes.”

In December 2009, she was forced to cancel a visit due to an arrest warrant issued by a British magistrates court. The British Government later changed the law on “universal jurisdiction” to require approval from the Director of Public Prosecutions before issuing a warrant for charges of international war crimes.

The UK Government has in the past awarded a Special Mission Status to Israeli officials; last year it applied the status  to the visits former Major General Doron Almog  and Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. General Benny Gantz both suspected of war crimes.

The FCO refused to disclose details about the number of times Special Mission Status were awarded to foreign officials suspected of committing war crimes “in view of the confidentiality of diplomatic exchanges”.

The FCO denied accusation it is bypassing and politicising the judicial by granting temporary immunities to suspected war criminals.

In a statement to The Muslim News a spokesman for the FCO insisted, “The sending of special missions between States is an essential aspect of the maintenance international relations. The status of special missions is a requirement of international law which has been recognized by our courts, and it enables exchanges to take place between governments.”

However, Sarah Colborne of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, said: “It is an outrage that the British Government appears to have offered Tzipi Livni immunity from prosecution for the gravest of offences – war crimes … Livni may be desperately trying to run, and hide, from justice. But she should know that you can’t evade justice for war crimes – and there is no expiry date. Tzipi Livni can’t rely on getting ‘get out of jail free’ cards every time she travels overseas. ”

Leave a Comment

What is 15 + 11 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News


Awards for Excellence

Read more