Commander of the Israeli navy, retired Rear-Admiral Eliezer Marom, during the Operation Cast Lead and raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara flotilla, was briefly detained and questioned by the British police at London’s Heathrow airport upon arrival on Monday.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Israeli embassy was looking into the issue after Marom claimed he was detained; under British law, permission to arrest foreign citizens for war crimes is limited.

Many Israeli commanders prefer to stay away from foreign trips or vacations to avoid any legal probe over their involvement in the 2008-2009 Gaza war as many international organizations address the Israeli military for persistent violation of international law and demand them face trial for war crimes.

Marom said later on Monday that he wasn’t arrested by the British police. Marom was the commander when the Israeli navy commandos raided the Mavi Marmara ship, killing nine civilians onboard and prompting an international outcry as well as Turkey’s outrage over the deadly use of force.

Ankara immediately demanded apology over the incident and downgraded its diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv to a historic low by expelling Israeli Ambassador in Turkey in September, 2011. After three years of foot dragging, Tel Aviv offered an official apology in March in what appeared a US-brokered reconciliation effort.

Last week, an İstanbul court which is hearing the case opened against retired Israeli military officicers over the raid of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid ship in May 2010 has rejected lawyers’ request for an Interpol Red Notice for several high-ranking retired members of the Israeli army.

One plaintiff’s lawyer, Cüneyt Karaman, told the judge that it is not possible to conduct a trial without suspects being present at the court, and thus the court should pursue an Interpol Red Notice for the accused former Israeli army members. However, the request was denied by the court. The hearings were adjourned to March 27, 2014.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has identified the four accused as former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Gen. Rau Aluf Gabi Ashkenazi, Naval Forces Commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and Air Force Intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi.

 source: todayszaman