British war crimes lawyer denied entry

The Interior Ministry denied entry to Kate Maynard, the British lawyer who submitted a complaint in London against Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, demanding he be prosecuted on war crimes charges related to his service as OC Southern Command from 2000 to 2003. Her colleague, London attorney Daniel Machover, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday that the denial came despite a ruling by Tel Aviv District Court allowing her to visit through Sunday. Army Radio reported that the court had only recommended that the Interior Ministry permit her to enter for two days. Maynard flew to Israel on Wednesday night to attend a conference beginning the following day and to meet with Palestinian clients. After questioning her at Ben-Gurion Airport, immigration officials refused to allow her to enter the country. She was "subjected to intensive and intrusive questioning," her law firm, Hickman and Rose, said in a statement. Maynard had been questioned by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Army Radio reported. On Thursday morning, her Israeli lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, appealed to Tel Aviv District Court against the decision. According to Machover, the Interior Ministry interpreted the court ruling as a "recommendation and, without giving any reason, the Israeli immigration authorities have decided not to follow the recommendation." Machover said that since Maynard had already missed the time set for the lecture she was to deliver, she had decided to return to Britain on the first available flight, on Friday. Maynard told the Associated Press that she was "more determined" than ever to pursue war crimes charges against IDF generals. Maynard has been involved in several attempts in Britain and other European countries to try IDF generals for alleged war crimes supposedly committed during the last five years of violence. Almog was forced to leave Britain in September to avoid arrest. He was accused of war crimes for overseeing the dropping of a one-ton bomb on the Gaza Strip that killed Salah Shehadeh, the commander of Hamas's armed wing in Gaza, his right-hand man, Zaher Nasser, and 13 others, including nine children, in July 2002.