Petition to arrest Netanyahu on UK visit gains momentum
More than 60,000 people in the UK have so far signed the petition calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes against Palestinians when he pays an official visit to Britain next month.
The online petition, uploaded on August 7 to the UK parliament’s official website, demands the apprehension of Netanyahu for the slaughter of thousands of Palestinians during the Israeli military’s 50-day military war against the Gaza Strip last year. The petition has garnered 60,454 signatures as of Sunday morning.
“Under international law, he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014,” the petition says, referring to the 65-year-old Israeli premier’s scheduled September visit.
After 10,000 signatures, the British government must respond to the petition, and after 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the parliament. The deadline for signing the petition is February 7, 2016.
However, the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a statement earlier this week that the petition has “no real meaning,” adding, “Bilateral ties between Britain and Israel are closer than ever before.”
Israel unleashed its military onslaught on the impoverished Gaza Strip in early July 2014. The offensive ended on August 26, 2014, with a truce that went into effect following indirect negotiations between representatives from Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Israeli regime in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, lost their lives in Israel’s war. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – also sustained injuries.