Israel gets another free pass from the UK

31-08-2015 22:30

MWC News

The British government has recently responded to a popular petition to arrest the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on charges of war crimes when he arrives in London – a petition that has already gathered more than 75,000 signatures.

The government highlighted that Netanyahu, as every head of state, enjoys inviolability and complete immunity from criminal jurisdiction, an unjust remnant and privilege of international customary law that impedes any foreign court to judge Netanyahu for his crimes.

Nevertheless, this argument was expected as it follows a traditional and restrictive interpretation of international law.

What was received with surprise was the rest of the response in which the British government made clear that it recognises “Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself”.

In case the message was not clear, the government ended the answer stressing that “the UK is a close friend of Israel, and we enjoy an excellent bilateral relationship built on decades of cooperation…”

These words seem to completely misunderstand the reality of what happened in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

Defining the attack on Gaza as an act of self-defence by the Israeli authorities is a jibe to history; an insult to the memory of the 2,100 people, including 500 children, killed by the Israeli army.

The UK government’s answer completely neglected the fact that Gaza is a population under blockade and occupation, whose human rights are violated constantly, and where discrimination prevails.The government’s words fail to take note of the fact that the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Gaza (COI) concluded that Israeli authorities committed war crimes during Operation Protective Edge, and that Israeli soldiers from the NGO, Breaking the Silence, reported that the Israeli army committed serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Topics : #UK Government #Netanyahu arrest #Israeli_PM #WarCrimes #UKpetition

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