A Hebrew newspaper has published details of the attempt by British police officers to arrest the Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni in December last year. The move came after reports were circulated that Ms. Livni was in a north London hotel.
According to the electronic version of Yedioth Ahronoth, “Last December, British police officers raided the Hendon Hall Hotel in north London with an arrest warrant for the Israeli Opposition Leader, Tzipi Livni, for committing war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.” Ms. Livni was not actually in Britain at the time although she had been scheduled to appear at a conference in the hotel. The report suggests that the Deputy Director of the Israeli Water Authority, Tammy Shore, took Livni’s place. After reviewing its CCTV footage, the management of the hotel speculated that Ms. Shore “looks remarkably like Tzipi Livni” and that this resemblance may have triggered the police raid.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Tzipi Livni and other Israeli officials on suspicion of being involved in war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during Israel’s brutal invasion of Gaza in January 2009. This prompted Labour and Conservative politicians to rush forward with proposals to change the law on universal jurisdiction so that officials of Britain’s “strategic ally” would be able to travel without fear of arrest. Commentators have called such moves “a war criminals’ charter”.