A retired Israeli army general escaped arrest on war crimes charges in Britain in 2005 because police feared a shootout.
The BBC on Wednesday published documents showing that British police decided against boarding an El Al plane in London in September 2005 to arrest IDF reserve Maj.-Gen. Doron Almog out of concern that the aircraft’s armed guards would open fire on the police.
Almog, a former commander of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, had traveled to Britian for a charitable event,but was tipped off after arriving that a local pro-Palestinian group had secured a warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges.
He stayed aboard the plane and flew home within hours.
According to a police log obtained by the BBC, El Al refused permission for British authorities to board and take Almog into custody.
“Another consideration [was] that El Al flights carried armed air marshals, which raised issues around public safety,” the police officer in charge wrote in his report. “There was also no intelligence as to whether Mr. Almog would have been traveling with personal security as befitted his status, armed or otherwise.”