A senior leader in the Occupation, Avi Dichter, has had to cancel a planned visit to the UK for fear of being prosecuted for war-crimes.
Dichter ordered the killing of fourteen Palestinian civilians in Gaza in 2002. He had apparently been requesting that the UK government ensure his immunity from prosecution for war-crimes if he visited the country. As the government was unable to do this under British law, Dichter was forced to cancel the visit.
Activists in the UK have in the past brought private prosecutions against Israeli war criminals. In 2005, Occupation commander Almog was forced to flee back to Israel after touching down in the UK after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
***image1***In 2002 Dichter was head of the Shin Bet, a wing of the Occupation responsible for targeted killings. He ordered the dropping of a one-ton bomb on a civilian area of Gaza, targeting the family home of local leader Salah Shehade, killing him and fourteen members of his family, nine of them children. The Occupationâs official statement described the assassination procedures as âcorrect and professional.â
The development is a major boost for the campaign to isolate the Occupation. Although Dichter would be immune from prosecution if he visited the UK in an official capacity, his bureau has stated that he will not visit Britain at all until the matter of the arrest warrant is resolved.