Britain Postpones Changing Arrest Law

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Britain has delayed amending a law that allows British judges to issue international warrants for individuals suspected of war crimes, according to a report on Monday in The Times.

Two months ago, Kadima chairwoman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a speaking engagement in London after a British judge issued a warrant for her arrest alleging war crimes for her role in Operation Cast Lead - Israel's military incursion into the Gaza Strip last winter.

According to The Times, British Justice Secretary Jack Straw cautioned parliamentarians behind closed doors against changing the law hastily and recommended first forming a committee to study the law.

Nearly 120 Labor Party parliamentarians signed a motion suspending any changes until after the elections in May.

Meanwhile, Livni said she would consider traveling to London to "take the bullet," if embarrassing the British government would speed up the process.

"Britain has obligated itself to me personally," Livni said, "that this subject will be taken care of and fixed. Now is the time," she said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the British paper that if the law remains intact, Israeli officials would not be traveling to England.

"If Israeli dignitaries cannot travel unhindered to Britain, then they will not travel," Palmor said.

"Automatically the political dialogue between the two countries will be reduced, which is not something that London or Jerusalem wants," he said.

Following Livni's cancellation, British Foreign Minister David Miliband told his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, the incident was "completely unacceptable."

"The procedure by which arrest warrants can be sought and issued without any prior knowledge or advice by a prosecutor is an unusual feature of the system in England and Wales," Miliband said in a statement.

"The government is looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed in order to avoid this sort of situation arising again," he said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown also phoned Livni to tell her personally she was always welcome in England.

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