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Israel Condemns British Arrest Warrant Against Livni


Israel has condemned an arrest warrant briefly issued in Britain against former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes.

Israel has condemned an arrest warrant briefly issued in Britain against former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will not accept a situation where its top officials are summoned to court to defend themselves, or where its soldiers are labeled as war criminals.

Reports say the warrant was issued a few days ago at the request of pro-Palestinian activists for Livni's role in Israel's offensive against militants in the Gaza Strip a year ago. The Associated Press quotes Israel's Foreign Ministry as saying the warrant was later canceled.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said this type of action threatens to harm Israeli-British relations.

Britain's Foreign Office said it was "urgently" looking into implications of the case, saying it is important for Israeli officials to be able to travel to Britain to promote Middle East peace efforts.

Speaking Tuesday in Tel Aviv, Livni did not specifically refer to the arrest warrant, but she said Israel's Gaza offensive was necessary. She also criticized the international community for, as she put it, comparing Israeli soldiers to terrorists.

Britain's Guardian newspaper reported Monday the arrest warrant was withdrawn after officials learned that Livni was not on British soil.

Livni served as Israel's foreign minister during its three-week Gaza offensive that killed 1,300 Palestinians. Thirteen Israelis were killed.

She resigned from her post after parliamentary elections in February and is now head of Israel's opposition Kadima party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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