Ehud Olmert cancels visit to Switzerland after country vows to arrest him

Ehud Olmert, who served time in prison for corruption, cancels visit to the Alpine country.

July 25, 2019 15:37
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert canceled a planned visit to Switzerland after he was notified that he is liable to be arrested in the Alpine country for alleged war crimes, Channel 12 reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, Olmert was planning to visit on Monday, but canceled his trip when the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry received a statement from the Swiss authorities saying that he will be taken in for questioning on suspicion of war crimes during the IDF operation in Gaza while he was prime minister.

Former education minister Naftali Bennett slammed Switzerland on social media, saying that unlike the neutral European country, Israel "does not have the luxury of... sitting out conflicts."

"Our enemies seek our total destruction," he said, adding that Israel must make it clear to the Swiss government that, "it will not tolerate attempts to prosecute any Israeli for defending our people."   

Olmert served as prime minister during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, in which 1,166 Palestinians were killed during three weeks of fighting.

Of that number, 709 were identified as "Hamas terrorist operatives," the IDF said at the time.

Olmert is the only prime minister to be found guilty in court of a criminal offense, having been convicted of corruption in 2016. 

He was in prison from February 2016 to July 2017.

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