Palestinian group seeks Peres' arrest in Switzerland

Human rights group petitioned Swiss att.-gen. to arrest the president over Goldstone allegations; Beit Hanassi says visit was "warm."

March 29, 2011 13:19
1 minute read.
President Shimon Peres in Switzerland

President Shimon Peres in Switzerland 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)


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A pro-Palestinian human rights group has petitioned Switzerland's attorney-general to issue an arrest warrant for visiting President Shimon Peres.

The petition, alleging that Peres should be held responsible for allegations made in "the UN's Goldstone report regarding the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip accuses Tel Aviv and its leaders of committing war crimes and humanitarian crimes."

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Chairman of Swiss-based human rights group Rights for All, Anwar al-Gharbi, ”[Switzerland's] humanitarian record obligates it to [arrest]” Peres.

Beit Hanassi responded that "Palestinian organizations file [legal] complaints every time a senior Israeli official arrives for a visit overseas." The statement continued, "The petition filed by the Palestinian organization in Switzerland has no influence. The president's visit was conducted in a warm atmosphere, friendly and without any protests."

Peres was in Geneva as part of a longer visit which will include London. While in Switzerland, he visited the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

On Wednesday, he was expected to depart for London where he will deliver an address to some 200 government leaders, have a working meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, and in the evening will attend the gala 80th birthday party at the Royal Albert Hall for former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Before leaving London on Thursday, Peres will meet with leaders of Britain’s Jewish community.

Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.

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