London and Tel Aviv face off: UK police summon former Israeli foreign minister for questioning over Gaza war crimes

Published July 4th, 2016 - 08:30 GMT
Former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. (AFP/File)
Former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. (AFP/File)

British police prompt an angry reaction from Tel Aviv after summoning former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni for questioning over ‘war crimes.’

Livni was called in by British police last week while she was in London. The summons, however, was called off after talks between London and Tel Aviv.

The police order was issued over Livni’s role in Israel’s 2008-9 deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, when she was foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

The Tel Aviv regime lashed out at the UK, with the Israeli foreign ministry condemning the summons and expressing "great concern".

"We would have expected different behavior from a close ally such as the UK," it said in a statement.

Later, the UK police said there was no war crimes investigation.

In 2009, an arrest warrant for the Israeli official was issued in Britain following a series of complaints by pro-Palestinian activists there. But a couple of years later, the UK changed its laws to make it harder to arrest Israeli politicians visiting the country, after the arrest warrant sparked a row between the two sides.

Israel’s airstrikes and ground invasion in Gaza in late 2008 killed over a thousand Palestinians.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

The Tel Aviv regime has also waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including a devastating 50-day aggression in 2014 that left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,100 others injured.

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