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Rights organisation seeks arrest of former Israeli general

A British human rights organisation has filed a legal application for the arrest of a former Israeli general over alleged criminal behaviour and war crimes.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights in UK (AOHR UK) has requested that the British Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) commence an investigation and seek to arrest Israeli Major-General Elazar Stern over his negligence in failing to either prevent or investigate allegations of criminal behaviour.

AOHR said in a statement that "Major General Stern held a position of 'Superior Responsibility' in terms of the duty to prevent or punish and thus was obliged to either report instances of, or commission investigations into any instance of alleged criminal behaviour by troops under the command of the IDF".

Stern took part in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and was in Beirut during the Sabra and Shatila massacre. He also participated in several operations during the second intifada (2000-2005). He served as Chief of the Israeli army's Education and Youth Corps before being appointed head of the Manpower Directorate. He is currently Member of Knesset for the Yesh Atid party.

The arrest warrant for Stern is being pursued under the rules of Universal Jurisdiction. AOHR cited International criminal law specialist, Toby Cadman, who commented that war crimes are subject to Universal Jurisdiction and it is open to any individual to initiate legal proceedings in the UK against those criminals regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators or where those crimes were committed.

The British Barrister is also reported to have said: "Many horrific crimes were committed in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict against innocent Palestinian civilians. None of those responsible for such crimes have been brought to justice.  Accountability is an essential element of any post-conflict scenario"

Stern is said to be travelling to London on Tuesday, 31 January 2017, to speak at an event organized by the right-wing think tank, Henry Jackson Society at the House of Commons upon the invitation of MP Jack Lopresti. Stern is also scheduled to deliver a lecture at the University College of London organized by the UCL Friends of Israel.

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