(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) As of Friday, more than 53,000 people had signed an online petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on war crimes charges during his visit to the United Kingdom next month.
The petition, created on the British Parliament’s E-petitions website, says, “Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K. for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014 [during Operation Protective Edge].” Israel, however, has compiled data showing that about half of those "civilians" cited in the British petition were actually armed terrorists.
According to British law, the government must respond to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures, while a petition that garners 100,000 will be considered for debate in the parliament.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry called the petition “a public relations stunt with no practical significance.”
“The bilateral relations between Britain and Israel are closer than ever,” the ministry said in a statement, highlighting data that shows the doubling of trade between the two countries in recent years as well as “fruitful” academic, cultural, and scientific cooperation.