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      MK Amir Peretz Escapes Arrest in Britain

      Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz is a wanted man; the politician barely escaped an arrest in the UK last week.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 7/6/2011, 5:19 PM / Last Update: 7/6/2011, 9:03 PM

      Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz is a wanted man -- he barely escaped an arrest in the UK last week.

      Anti-Israel organizations in London had produced an arrest warrant against the former Labor minister. The warrant charged Peretz with committing war crimes in connection with Israel's counter terrorism mini-war against the Hamas rulers of Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, Operation Cast Lead.

      Peretz apparently knew the warrant was being prepared, but chose to travel in spite of a warning by Israeli security officials, according to Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yediot Acharonot.

      The MK met with local Jews in London, and spoke at the Israeli Businessman's Club. Nevertheless, the MK did cancel several planned lectures. Upon the urging of security personnel, he moved his return flight to Israel up from Sunday to Saturday night – a move that stymied extremists' efforts to ensure his arrest, which apparently was impossible to facilitate until the morning.

      Peretz is not the only Israeli government official to be hounded by lawfare efforts of pro-Palestinian Authority fanatics abroad.

      An arrest warrant was issued in December 2009 against Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who was forced to cancel a planned trip to speak at a Jewish National Fund event as a result.

      In 2005, IDF Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Doron Almog was informed by then-Israeli Ambassador to Britain Tzvi Hefetz that an arrest warrant awaited him, thanks to Israeli leftist ex-pats. Hefetz told Almog – who had traveled to England to raise money for charity – that he would be arrested if he disembarked from his plane; the warrant charged him with perpetrating war crimes against Palestinian Authority Arabs during the course of his army career, which had ended in 2003. 

      According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, over the past 10 years Britain has become a hotbed of Hamas political, legal and propaganda activism. The country is currently serving as a rallying point for the terrorist group's activities in Europe.