Israel’s internal security minister canceled a trip to Britain out of concern he would be arrested for alleged war crimes.
Avi Dichter was scheduled to attend a British conference next month on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts, but backed out at the behest of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.
Political sources said there was concern that pro-Palestinian activists in Britain could seek to have Dichter arrested and tried for his role in a 2002 Israeli airstrike that killed a top Hamas terrorist along with 14 civilians in Gaza.
Dichter was head of the Shin Bet security service at the time. The then-commander of Israeli forces in Gaza, Gen. Doron Almog, narrowly escaped arrest on similar war-crimes charges in London in 2005.
Israel has appealed to the Brown government to scale back British laws allowing for private war-crimes suits to be pursued through the police.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.