British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told on Wednesday Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni that she is always welcome in UK.
During a phone call Brown voiced his rejection of an arrest warrant issued in Britain against Livni earlier this week.
Arab and Israeli media sources reported Monday that a British court has issued an arrest warrant against former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for her role in orchestrating last winter’s offensive against Gaza.
The Israeli war on Gaza which started on December 27th 2008 and lasted till January 17th 2009 claimed the lives of around 1500 Palestinians, and wounded 5000 others, in addition to causing extensive damage to the infrastructure of the coastal region. 16 Israelis were killed, 14 soldiers and 2 civilians, during the war.
On Sunday Livni canceled her participation in a Jewish function in the UK, after receiving information from Scotland Yard that a warrant for her arrest had been issued.
On Tuesday Britain pledged to make changes in the legal powers that allow judges to order the arrest of visiting politicians and generals under terms of universal jurisdiction. This legal concept empowers judges in the UK to issue arrest warrants for visiting officials accused of war crimes in a foreign conflict.
Livni’s office dismissed reports that the trip was cancelled over this warrant, adding that Livni spoke to the conference through the video conferencing technology as planned.
Following the January assault on Gaza Palestinian solidarity groups in the UK have been filing lawsuit against Israeli leaders accusing them of war crimes, which would subject any Israeli senior official for arrest in certain European countries.