I learned about this intriguing story from LGF Watch, a site devoted to ferreting out the distortions, inaccuracies and untruths posted at Little Green Footballs. So I have the odd “pleasure” of thanking that execrable site (LGF, not LGF Watch) for alerting me to this interesting story from The Guardian: Israeli evades arrest at Heathrow over army war crime allegations.
British attorneys for Palestinian victims of IDF violence persuaded a judge to accept jurisdiction over a war crimes charge against Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, who was IDF Southern Commander from 2000-2003:
The warrant alleges Mr Almog committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip in 2002 when he ordered the destruction of 59 homes near Rafah, which Palestinians say was in revenge for the death of Israeli soldiers.
Almog was alerted to his impending arrest, refused to disembark from the El Al plane at Heathrow and immediately returned to Israel. Now, I wonder who could’ve alerted him? And how could the Mossad (if they were the source) or Israeli embassy have gotten the information in the first place?
LGF Watch adds this important information:
…The attorneys also seek to investigate allegations concerning Almog’s involvement in three other cases: the killing of a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy (Nouha al-Maqadam, March 3, 2003); the killing of three young men in northern Gaza on December 30, 2001; and the bombing of the Daraj neighborhood in Gaza on July 22, 2002, which killed Hamas’ military head Salah Shehadeh and 14 other Palestinians.
Probably the most notorious of these incidents was the killing of Shehadeh, who at the time of his murder was in a multi-story apartment building. The IDF dropped a very large bomb on the building to be sure to kill him wherever he might be in the building. Only problem is there were 14 other innocent Palestinians inside the building and passing by who were also murdered, many of them children.
I have very little sympathy of Salah Shehadeh or anyone who plots to kill innocent Israeli civilians as he did. But I have equally little sympathy for an IDF commander (or Israeli government) which calculates that killing 14 in order to get their man is an acceptable level of collateral damage.
What is more important about this incident is that it attacks the impunity with which Israel pursues some of its most murderous policies against the Palestinians. Whatever international protections and safeguards existed to prevent war crimes charges, divestment campaigns, and cases brought to the International Court of Justice (where Israeli lost a case claiming the separation barrier violated international law) are gradually slipping away.
I am not eager to see an Israeli general locked away in a British prison. But if that’s what it takes to make Israel’s cabinet hesitate even one second before they approve the next assassination, then it will be worthwhile. By the way, if the British are going to arrest Israeli generals I’d like to see them arrest a few Palestinians bomb makers as well for similar crimes.