IDF officers returning to study in UK

This despite arrest threats; Israel pushes for law to stop pro-Palestinian groups from obtaining warrants.

doron almog aj 224 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
doron almog aj 224 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Three years after a former general was almost arrested in England for alleged war crimes, the IDF has returned to sending senior officers to England for military studies, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Currently, two officers - colonels - are studying in England, and another is scheduled to join in August. The decision to renew studies in England comes as efforts are being made by the IDF Judge Advocate General's Office, the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry to convince the British to enact a law that would prevent pro-Palestinian groups from being able to obtain arrest warrants. The IDF decided to stop sending officers to England for military studies in 2005 after Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog - former OC Southern Command - avoided arrest at Heathrow Airport in London when he was warned not to disembark from an El Al flight since British detectives were waiting to take him into custody. The warrant had been issued by the Bow Street Magistrate's Court as per the request of a pro-Palestinian Muslim group. The warrant, one of the first of its kind issued in Britain on charges of war crimes, alleged that Almog in 2002 had ordered the demolition of 59 Palestinian homes in Rafah. Following the Almog incident, Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the former commander of the Gaza Division, decided to cancel plans to study in England after the IDF Judge Advocate General recommended he refrain from entering the United Kingdom, where he could be charged with committing war crimes. Kochavi, the Gaza Division commander, was enrolled for studies at the Royal College of Defense Studies. The IDF Spokesman's Office said in response to the report: "Officers and soldiers who travel abroad are provided advice regarding the legal risks in different countries. Naturally, we cannot provide details on the specific recommendations that are given to these officers, since this can potentially assist those who seek to cause harm to IDF officers by misusing legal practices in different countries."