Gen. Almog decided not to alight from the plane, and remained aboard until it turned around and landed again in Israel.
An Israeli-citizen lawyer living in Britain, Daniel Machover, filed the charges - together with the Israeli left-wing organization "Yesh Gvul." The indictment states that Gen. Almog perpetrated war crimes against Palestinian Authority Arabs during the course of his army career. Machover is known to be a long-time vocal critic of Israel's policy against Palestinian terrorism.
Justice Minister Tzippy Livni said yesterday that it is an "unacceptable" situation whereby "Israeli soldiers cannot set foot on British soil." She said that Israel would provide legal aide for anyone persecuted in this manner, and that she intends to pursue a solution for this problem with the European countries.
Atty. Machover is a spokesman and founder-member of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, a group of British lawyers that has written reports against the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The organization also that provides assistance to PA lawyers and organizations in legal matters against Israel.
Atty. Machover says he plans to sue Ambassador Hefetz for warning Gen. Almog in advance, and for boarding the plane to discuss the matter with Almog. The lawyer also intends to file additional charges against other senior IDF generals, including Chief of Staff Halutz and former Chief of Staff Yaalon, and have them categorized as war criminals.
Yesh Gvul (There is a Limit) is an Israeli organization that supports Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the areas of Judea and Samaria. Its support of the British indictment against IDF officers has angered even left-wing MK Yigal Yasinov of the Shinui Party.
"There is a limit to the chutzpah of traitors as well," Yasinov said today. "I expect the members of Yesh Gvul to give up their Israeli citizenship, assume PA citizenship, and to live on the order side of the border." He said he plans to ask the Attorney General and Justice Minister to declare Yesh Gvul a terror-sponsoring organization, outlaw it, and open investigations against its members.