As the petition for the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu reaches almost 80,000 signatures, the British Government has issued an official statement saying that the Israeli Prime Minister is immune from arrest.
The online petition went viral on August 7 and demanded the apprehension of Israel’s Likud party chariman upon arrival in London.
Petitions that garner more than 100,000 signatures are considered for debate in parliament.
Referring to Netanyahu’s scheduled September visit, the petition requested “Under international law, he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014”
However the governments response clears the war criminal of any wrong doing.
Below is part of the statement issued by the British Government:
“Under UK and international law, visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained.
The British Government has invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as head of the Israeli Government, to visit the UK in September. Under UK and international law, certain holders of high-ranking office in a State, including Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs are entitled to immunity, which includes inviolability and complete immunity from criminal jurisdiction.
We recognise that the conflict in Gaza last year took a terrible toll. As the Prime Minister said, we were all deeply saddened by the violence and the UK has been at the forefront of international reconstruction efforts. However the Prime Minister was clear on the UK’s recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law. We condemn the terrorist tactics of Hamas who fired rockets on Israel, built extensive tunnels to kidnap and murder, and repeatedly refused to accept ceasefires. Israel, like any state, has the right to ensure its own security, as its citizens also have the right to live without fear of attack…..“