S. African group seeking Livni’s arrest on ‘war crimes’


(JTA) — A South African organization dedicated to dispelling stereotypes about Muslims is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli lawmaker Tzipi Livni for her role in the Gaza war.

Livni, Israel’s opposition leader and head of the Kadima Party, is set to visit South Africa at the end of the month as a guest of the Jewish Board of Deputies, according to the South African Press Association. She is scheduled to give several speeches and hold meetings in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Igbal Jassat, chairman of the the Media Review Network, told the South African Press Association that his organization has instructed its attorneys to secure the arrest warrant in accordance with the Rome statutes, to which South Africa is a signatory, "which obligates all member states to honor their responsibility in the prosecution of war criminals."

A 3,000-page report on the war compiled by the Media Review Network and the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance calls Livni one of the "key architects" of the Gaza war, known as Operation Cast Lead, which lasted for one month beginning in late December 2008. Livni was serving as Israel’s foreign minister at the time.

It is not the first time that foreign organizations have tried to secure warrants for Livni’s arrest for her actions during the Gaza war. A British court issued an arrest warrant for Livni in December 2009, forcing Livni to cancel her visit.

Jewish Board of Deputies spokesman Zev Krengel said that Livni’s visit will go forward as scheduled. 

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