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Israeli cabinet approves legal aid for officers charged abroad with war crimes

[JURIST] The Israeli cabinet Sunday approved the provision of legal aid and support services to any Israeli military officer past or present who is charged outside of the country with war crimes. Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni proposed the undertaking after it was disclosed that former Israeli Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, once commander of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, narrowly avoided arrest for war crimes on a recent trip to London [JURIST report], and that private legal proceedings in Britain against other Israeli officers were planned. UK law authorizes universal jurisdiction [Amnesty International backgrounder] for war crimes under the 1957 Geneva Conventions Act. Israel has already asked the British government to act to limit such suits [JURIST report]. The government estimates that roughly $1 million will be required to underwrite the services. From Israel, Haaretz has more.

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