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Israel’s Tzipi Livni cancels visit to Britain fearing arrest for war crimes

14 December 2009

Via Palestine Solidarity Campaign

According to the Jewish Chronicle today, Israeli opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, cancelled a visit to Britain yesterday (13 December), for fear of being arrested.

Betty Hunter, Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s General Secretary, said: “More and more, Israel’s political and military leaders are coming to realise that their war crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will not go unpunished.

“Tzipi Livni was Israel’s foreign minister when Israel launched its horrific attack on Gaza last year, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children. Over 5,000 were wounded, and essential infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and sewage facities were destroyed.

“Livni held a senior position in a government responsible for horrific war crimes. Justice Goldstone made clear in his report to the UN that Israel had serious charges to answer over its massacre in Gaza. We’re committed to bringing those responsible for these war crimes to justice.”

Over 100 protested yesterday in Hendon, London, where Livni was due to speak at the Jewish National Fund’s Vision 2010 conference, and had been expected to meet Gordon Brown for private talks. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described the Jewish National Fund as Israel’s main agency of ethnic cleansing.

In October 2009, Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s vice-premier, pulled out of a visit to London to attend a charity event following advice that he may be arrested on war crimes charges.

In September 2009, Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, who ordered the attack on Gaza, avoided arrest when he entered Britain after the Foreign Office upgraded his visit status from ‘private’ to ‘special status’. Barak was in the UK to attend a Labour Friends of Israel reception at the Labour Party conference.

On 27 December 2009, human rights campaigners will attend a vigil outside the Israeli embassy in London to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s air and land assault on Gaza – from 3.00pm outside the Israeli embassy – calling for an end to the siege on Gaza, and for Israeli war criminals to be brought to justice.

Media contact: Sarah Colborne 07971 424 296 or 020 7700 6192

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is the UK’s largest organisation campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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