Hawks decision on Livni welcomed
Johannesburg - The SA Jewish Board of Deputies has welcomed the Hawks' decision not to obtain an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes against Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni for her planned, but now cancelled visit to South Africa.
"The [SAJBD] welcomes the decision by the Hawks to turn down the request for the issue of a warrant of arrest for Tzipi Livni, as a victory for rule of law over political intimidation," the board said on Thursday.
She was chief negotiator in the Middle East peace talks until 2009 and was "deeply committed" to finding solutions there, it said.
Stifling her was tantamount to fighting against peace, they continued, adding that they looked forward to hosting her in the future.
3 000 page document
The Media Review Network and the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance had submitted a request for her arrest during her visit to South Africa, which had been at the invitation of the SAJBD, for her alleged role in the Gaza war of 2008 and 2009.
Her visit, supposed to have begun on Wednesday, was cancelled due to labour issues in Israel.
Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said Hawks head Anwa Dramat decided against the request, which was supported by a 3 000 page document, because the "highly complex" matter required a thorough investigation and contact with the Israeli cabinet over her alleged role in the war.
Livni's trip would be rescheduled for later in the year, said the board.