Hague: I support activism against the security barrier
Israel announces no special dialogue with UK foreign secretary's trip to J'lem; Hague meets with Peres, Lieberman.
By TOVAH LAZAROFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague met Wednesday with Palestinians who demonstrate weekly against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank, which cuts off some Palestinian villages from their farm land. Israel says the barrier is needed to keep out attackers.Hague praised the idea of nonviolence and listened to the accounts of the activists. The group stood on a hill overlooking an Israeli military prison camp in the West Bank.RELATED:Hague: Change universal jurisdiction lawEuropeans hail return to negotiating table In response to Hague's statements, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said: "The security barrier has saved lives, and its construction was necessary. The barrier has separated Israel from Palestinian cities and completely changed the reality in Israel, where citizens were exposed to terror every day."The United Kingdom has paid a lot of attention to Iran's nuclear program so as to prevent future conflict, its Hague told President Shimon Peres when the two met in Jerusalem in the afternoon.Similarly, he said, his country has also been concerned with the situation in Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen."There are so many issues on which as a security council member we have to be very active to prevent future conflict," he said.In response Peres said that Iran was inciting terror and that behind "what is happening in Lebanon and Yemen, you will find an Iranian finger. They are aggressive and do not respect the law," he said.Earlier Hague spoke with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman about Iran's nuclear capability and the need the need for international cooperation against terrorism.Hague once against promised Israel to resolve the issue of universal jurisdiction which at present allows for some Israelis to be arrested in England for war crimes.Israel said Wednesday that it will not resume a special strategic dialogue with London as long as officials visiting Britain face possible arrest for suspected war crimes. The annual strategic dialogue — launched two years ago to boost relations — broke off at the beginning of the year.Under British law, pro-Palestinian activists have used the concept of universal jurisdiction to seek the arrest of visiting officials. Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor this week became the latest official to cancel a visit to Britain for fear of arrest. Meridor was due to give a speech organized by the Britain and Israel Communications and Research Center, a pro-Israel group.It was feared, however, that Meridor, who is also the intelligence and atomic energy minister, could face potential legal action over the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May, in which nine Turkish activists were killed. Meridor refused to comment.Several Israeli officials have been threatened with legal action in Britain under the contested legal principle of “universal jurisdiction,” which states that some crimes are so serious they can be prosecuted locally, even if they are alleged to have been committed elsewhere.Lieberman and Hague also discussed the stalled peace process. Hague has spoken of the need for Israel to resume its freeze of new settlement construction.At the end of the meeting the two signed a Film Co-production Agreement that greatly enhances the ability of both countries to jointly work on cinema projects. His arrival late Tuesday night, marked the first high ranking visit by member of the Cameron led government since it came into power in May. He is expected to meet Thursday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. The minister will also visit the Schalit family in the protest tent, and is scheduled to visit Yad Vashem as well, before leaving for Egypt.
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