Former Israeli naval commander, Major General Eli Marom, was detained this morning on his arrival at London’s Heathrow airport. General Marom was the commander of the Israeli navy during Operation Cast Lead and during the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. Now retired, he is being tried in absentia in Turkey for his role in the Mavi Marmara incident, which saw the death of 9 Turkish activists.
It is not known why General Marom is visiting the UK, but upon his arrival he was briefly held at the airport by the UK Border Agency. During the brief detention General Marom contacted the UK Ministry of Justice. Israeli newspapers compared his brief detention to previous attempts to arrest Israeli officials, including Tzipi Livni for their roles in Israeli war atrocities. However, unlike his Israeli colleagues who were granted “special mission” status preventing their arrests, it is not clear whether General Marom has been granted this status.
The Foreign Office and the Home Office are yet to issue a statement on the incident, though both have been contacted for comment.