UK petition calling for Israeli PM’s arrest nears 80,000 signatures

The petition calls for Netenyahu's arrest under international law for alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza War

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A petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu upon his arrival in the UK next month has so far amassed almost 80,000 signatures.

The petition calls for his arrest under international law for alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza War, which claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and 70 Israelis.

“At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament,” a statement on the UK Government’s official website explained.

Upon reaching 10,000 signatures, the online document prompted a government response which maintained that as head of state, Netanyahu retains “complete immunity from criminal jurisdiction.”

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”

Similar efforts called for the arrest of then Justice Minister Tzipi Livni when she visited London last year for her involvement in Israel’s 2008 operation in Gaza, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The UK Foreign Office acted by granting Livni temporary diplomatic immunity, despite not being a diplomat.

The Iran nuclear deal, stalled talks in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the war in Syria are set to dominate talks between Netanyahu and British PM David Cameron, the Haaretz reported.

The Israeli prime minister is set for talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London next month. They are set to focus on the Iran nuclear deal, the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Syrian civil war.