World News

Interpol reviews Iran request for Israeli arrests

PARIS (Reuters) - Iran has asked Interpol for help in tracking down 25 senior Israeli officials in relation to the recent Gaza offensive, the international police organization said in a statement on Tuesday.

Interpol said it was reviewing the request to make sure it did not breach rules that prevent the body from making “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”

Iran, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, said in December it had set up a court to try Israelis for attacking Gaza. Earlier this month it said it had asked Interpol to arrest what it called 15 Israeli “war criminals.”

Interpol, which is based in the southern French city of Lyon, said Iran wanted to issue 25 so-called Red Notices for senior Israelis, but did not give any names.

A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, but a request to national police forces to identify or locate suspects with a view to arrest and extradition.

Both Iran and Israel are members of Interpol.

Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza, which it said aimed to suppress Palestinian cross-border rocket fire, killed more than 1,300 Palestinians. Thirteen Israelis were killed.

Iranian officials have said Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls Gaza, scored a victory over Israel by surviving the Israeli attacks.

Israel has promised its military personnel state protection from any foreign prosecution.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer, editing by Mark Trevelyan