Thursday, September 15, 2005

Universal jurisdiction

Israel is condemning the British government for attempting to arrest a former IDF General for alleged war crimes. Major General Doron Almog is alleged to have ordered reprisals against civilians by troops he commanded in the Gaza strip, ordering the bulldozing of 50 civilian homes for an attack on an Israeli military outpost which killed four soldiers. Such action is considered by much of the international community to be a war crime. British law asserts universal jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity, and a warrant had been issued for Almog's arrest. Unfortunately, someone (perhaps the same people from the Foreign Office who fought tooth and nail against the prosecution of General Pinochet) tipped off the Israeli embassy, who tipped off Almog, and so he escaped. But he won't be coming back to Britain (or much of Europe) for a long time.