16 Dec 2009

Anger over UK warrant for former Israeli minister

7:02 pm on 16 December 2009

Israel has reacted angrily to the issuing of an arrest warrant for former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni by a British court.

The warrant, granted by a London court on Saturday, was revoked on Monday when it was found Ms Livni was not visiting Britain.

Ms Livni was foreign minister during Israel's Gaza assault last winter. It is the first time a British court has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former Israeli minister.

Ms Livni says the court had been "abused" by Palestinian plaintiffs who requested the warrant.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the situation is "an absurdity".

The BBC reports pro-Palestinian campaigners have tried several times to have Israeli officials arrested under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

This allows domestic courts in countries around the world to try war crimes suspects, even if the crime took place outside the country and the suspect is not a citizen.