British petition calls for arrest of Netanyahu for ‘war crimes’

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits Britain in September has reached more than 41,000 signatures and must receive a government response.

The online petition was uploaded on Aug. 7 to the United Kingdom Parliament’s official website. After 10,000 signatures the government must respond to the petition, and after 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

“Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K. for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014,” the petition says, citing Netanyahu’s scheduled September visit.

As of Wednesday evening, the government has not responded to the petition. The Israeli news website Ynet quoted unnamed officials at the British Foreign Office as calling the petition “a publicity stunt.”

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Any British citizen can place a petition on the Parliament’s website. Other petitions currently on the website include legalizing cannabis, with almost 197,000 signatures; setting minimum prices on milk, with 47,000 signatures; and stopping benefits to illegal immigrants. with 13,400 signatures.

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