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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

British family still insists on extraditing Israeli soldier

James Miller was a photographer who was killed by Israeli troops while filming in the Gaza Strip in May 2003. Miller was filming a documentary in the Philadelphi corridor (see map) at the time of his death. That's him at the front of the picture below. I discussed the case - and the British demand that the soldier who killed Miller be extradited to Britain for trial - extensively here. Ironically, the soldier who killed Miller is not Jewish.

On Tuesday, Haaretz reported that the IDF has reached a settlement with the British government in which the Israeli government will pay 1.5 million pounds (about $3 million) compensation to the Miller family in exchange for the British government dropping the extradition request.
According to a government source, serious progress has recently been made between the Miller family and Israeli authorities. The Millers had persistently asked for a sum of over 3 million pounds sterling but recently agreed to settle for half. In the wake of deliberations involving the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, Finance Ministry and the IDF, Israeli authorities decided to accept the Millers' proposal.

Besides talks with the family, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also held negotiations on the matter with the British government. During talks, Israel demanded that the U.K. withdraw its intent to ask for the extradition of the soldiers involved, so they could be tried in Britain, in return for Israel agreeing to pay compensation to the Millers. British officials responded by saying that they would freeze legal procedures if the family was indeed compensated.

Israeli officials, however, were adamant that the case would not become a legal precedent. "The compensation deal is reasonable. We also reached an understanding that the legal aspect has been settled," an Israeli source said. "The issue isn't over yet, but we're very close. The affair burdened our relations with the U.K. and we are glad that the family and the British government are willing to reach a deal."
But the report below from the pro-'Palestinian' Press TV network indicates that the Miller family is not yet willing to settle. It's not clear to me whether that's because they're not willing to accept the offer, or whether because they doubt that the Israeli government will actually pay the compensation. Watch the report, and then I'll be back with a couple of comments.

In 2003, Israel was much less adept at handling these kinds of incidents than is apparently now the case, as shown by the handling of the Shana case the week before last. While I'd be very unhappy to see Israel pay any compensation in this case, the government also cannot allow itself to be put in the position of extraditing soldiers. As I noted in my comments about this case last summer,
Israel cannot be in a position where it extradites IDF troops to face trials in other countries for actions taken while in IDF uniform. Israel may have no choice but to try the IDF officer involved again. Unfortunately, should he be acquitted, we can count on our own leftists not to accept the trial's results. I believe that the IDF officer probably shot the cameraman by mistake, which is why the inquiry found him 'not responsible' for the cameraman's death. 'Palestinians' come out with white flags and start shooting all the time. The mainstream media and the West cannot or will not understand that.
Of course, if compensation is paid, I assume there will be no second trial here. In any event, we must be much more aggressive than we were in 2003 in presenting our positions and in showing the world the reality of 'Palestinian' terror.


At 5:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

True enough. Israel's soldiers are not going to fight for the country if their own government doesn't support them after the war. And I'm not talking about a formal war. Israel has been at war for 60 years and the peace with certain Arab countries is essentially a peace on paper. The world needs to understand that, too.


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