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News :: International
IDF general escapes arrest in London
12 Sep 2005
Aluf Benn, Amira Hass and Ruth Sinai, Haaretz, 9/11/05
General (res.) Doron Almog, former head of the Israel Defense Forces' Southern Command, escaped arrest Sunday by the London police's anti-terrorist and war crimes unit, when he remained on an aircraft that had landed in Heathrow airport and returned with it to Israel several hours later.
Almog had arrived in London on an El-Al flight. Israel Ambassador Zvi Hefetz learned of a plan to arrest him for allegedly perpetrating war crimes during the intifada, and quickly informed Yaki Dayan, head of the political department in Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's bureau.
In Jerusalem no one knew whether Almog was to be handed a subpoena or an arrest warrant, or who was behind the move, but they decided not to take a chance. The Foreign Ministry sent a message to Almog, through the airplane's communication systems, warning him that he could be arrested if he entered the U.K.
Almog decided to remain on the plane. Because he had not passed border control, he was not considered to have entered Great Britain and therefore could not be handed an arrest warrant.
He had been planning to raise funds in the country for a children's village for severely disabled children that he plans to build in the Negev.
The request for Almog's arrest was issued by Judge Timothy Workman in London, at the request of the firm of Hickman and Rose, which specializes in human rights law. Almog was apparently suspected by the London authorities of gravely violating the Geneva Convention, a criminal violation according to British law.
The warrant was issued based on one incident - demolition of a home in Rafah - but 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. (MORE)

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