U.K. Court Mulls Immunity for Barak

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LONDON - A U.K. court deferred a petition by a pro-Palestinian group to arrest Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during his visit to London this week.

The group petitioned the Westminster Magistrates Court to issue an arrest warrant for Barak for alleged war crimes during the Israel Defense Forces' three-week military incursion in the Gaza Strip last December and January.

The court has yet to rule on the British Foreign Ministry's request to grant immunity to Barak. 

A 2004 decision, which granted immunity to then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, set a precedent the Foreign Ministry recommended the court follow for Barak.

Barak traveled to Britain for meetings with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Secretary of Defense Bob Ainsworth and Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

"We do not intend to let terror win," the defense minister said in a ministry statement issued Tuesday evening.

"We will not apologize in any way for our just struggle against terrorism. We will do everything possible so the representatives of Israel, security officials of the IDF, will continue to freely travel the world. The theatre of the absurd whereby those who defend their citizens need to be on the defensive has to end. Otherwise, the world is likely not only to give a prize to terrorism, but to encourage it," the statement read.

Sources: IDF Spokesperson's Office, The Jerusalem Post

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