From 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a military assault on the Gaza Strip for three weeks, 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped on Palestinian residential neighborhoods, tens of thousands of artillery shells were fired from tanks, destroying thousands of homes, but also hospitals, schools and mosques. The number of victims estimated by the UN is 1400, of which more than 900 civilians, 400 children and a hundred women. At the time, Tzipi Livni was Israel’s foreign Minister and a member of the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s security cabinet and allegedly played a key role in the decisions made before and during the three-week offensive.
Procedure in the UK
In 2009, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) filed 490 criminal complaints to the Israeli Military Prosecutor against senior Israeli offcials, including Tzipi Livni, for the alleged war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead. No investigations were opened.
On 12 December 2009, at the request of lawyers representing Palestinian victims, a British court issued an arrest warrant against Tzipi Livni. The warrant was withdrawn on 14 December 2009 after it was confirmed she would not be visiting the United Kingdom.
In October 2011, the PCHR and the British law firm Hickman & Rose, acting on behalf of Palestinian victims, requested the arrest of Tzipi Livni as she was visiting the country. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office granted her diplomatic immunity, preventing her arrest.
On 30 June 2016, while Tzipi Livni was in London for a conference organized by the Haaretz, she was summoned to appear volunteerly to the police regarding allegations of war cries and violations of the Geneva Conventions committed between 2008 and 2009. She was granted diplomatic immunity.
Procedure in Belgium
In June 2010, a collective of Operation Cast Lead’s victims families launched a criminal complaint with the Federal Prosecutor against Israeli officials, including Tzipi Livni, for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Operation Cast Lead. Informed of her visit in Brussels, the collective solicited her arrest for interrogation.
On 23 January 2017, Tzipi Livni was expected to attend a Conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. Yet, after the Belgium prosecutor’s office announced its intention to arrest and question her regarding her alleged involvement in Operation Cast Lead, she cancelled her trip to Belgium.
Procedure in Switzerland
On 28 May 2017, while Tzipi Livni was travelling to Switzerland to attend an event organized by a Swiss- Israel association, the NGO “Collectif Urgence Palestine – Genève” filed a criminal complaint accusing her of war crimes for her involvement in Operation Cast Lead. The Attorney General ‘s office confirmed that the complaint was being studied.