Former Israel Defense Forces General Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon escaped being arrested when an arrest warrant was issued against him by the Auckland District Court for “war crimes” during a visit to New Zealand last week. A New Zealand citizen filed a complaint against Ya’alon for alleged war crimes, but the warrant was cancelled when the local Justice Ministry interfered.
“I will continue traveling in New Zealand. I did not run away from anywhere and I don't intend to run away.” Ya’alon told Israel Army Radio.
Petitions for Ya’alon's arrest happened for his part in the assassination of leading Hamas figure, Salah Shehadeh in Gaza, who was killed by a one-ton bomb dropped by the Israeli air force on his house in 2002. Fourteen civilians were also killed, including seven members of the Mattar family.
“I know there was an intention to file a suit against me. But I am glad New Zealand is one of the countries that implements the law the right way and does not allow people who want to make propaganda to use [the law] to attack people like us,” Ya’alon said.