Doron Almog

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Doron Almog
Born 1951 (1951)
Allegiance Israel Israel
Service/branch Southern Command
Years of service 1969—2003
Rank Aluf
Commands held Shaldag Unit, Paratroopers Brigade, Infantry Corps, Gaza Division
Battles/wars War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War, Operation Entebbe, First Lebanon War, Operation Moses

Doron Almog (born 1951 as Doron Avrotzky) is a former Major General in the Israel Defense Forces reserves.

Early life[edit]

Almog is also the father of a son with severe autism and mental retardation.[1] His autistic son Eran died at age 23 in 2007. He is the founder of Aleh Negev, a village for the disabled which provides residential, medical and social services to the handicapped of southern Israel. After Eran's death, Aleh Negev's name was changed to Nachalat Eran.

Five members of the Almog family from Haifa: Ze'ev Almog, 71, his wife Ruth, 70, their son Moshe, 43, and grandsons Tomer Almog, 9, and Assaf Staier, 11 were killed in the suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa on October 4, 2003, while Oren Almog, 10, was grievously injured and blinded.

Operation Entebbe[edit]

In 1976's Operation Entebbe, he was the first para-reconnaissance commander to land on the runway at Entebbe, marking it for incoming Israeli airplanes, then leading the capture of the airfield's control tower in the rescue operation. In 1984-1985, he participated in the clandestine airlift of 7,000 endangered Beta Israel (or "Falasha") Jews from Ethiopia to Israel in what was known as "Operation Moses". In his most recent post, as head of the IDF Southern Command from 2000-2003 he secured the border of the Gaza Strip against infiltration by Palestinian militants.[citation needed]

2005 London escape[edit]

On September 10, 2005, as he and his wife arrived in London on an El Al flight to do fundraising for Aleh, a handicapped services organization which he helped found, Almog was tipped off by the Israeli Embassy that a warrant had been issued for his arrest on suspicion of violating the 1949 Geneva Convention in connection with home destructions in Gaza. The warrant was issued by Chief London Magistrate Timothy Workman of the Bow Street Magistrates' Court. The petition for the arrest warrant had been filed by Daniel Machover and Kate Maynard, acting as attorneys for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Machover is the head of Civil Litigation for Hickman & Rose Solicitors (London), and, co-founder (in 1988) of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights. Maynard is a member of Hickman & Rose. The warrant was considered urgent, and so was not brought before the English Attorney-General to approve. After Almog's escape, the warrant was cancelled in light of the fact that Almog had left Britain and was no longer under the court's jurisdiction.[2]

Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism officers were stationed at the immigration desk. Almog was to be arrested when he presented himself, and taken to a police station. News of the plan leaked to the Israeli Embassy, and when Almog landed, the Israeli military attache informed him in advance that there was an arrest warrant for him, advising him to stay on the plane and return to Israel. El Al denied police permission to board the plane. Almog and his wife remained on the plane for two hours before it took off for Ben Gurion Airport. Police did not board the plane to arrest Almog or prevent the plane from departing.[3]

It later emerged that the senior counter-terrorism officer in charge of the operation had feared for public safety and the diplomatic impact of a potential armed confrontation with Almog's bodyguards and El Al sky marshals should police have boarded the plane and attempted to execute the warrant. It was suspected that with a person of Almog's stature on board, there may have been as many as four or five sky marshals on the plane, and there was also no intelligence on whether Almog was accompanied by personal bodyguards. A second concern was the legal implications of boarding the plane after El Al had refused police entry.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

After the failed arrest, Attorney Daniel Machover demanded an investigation of why police failed to board Almog's plane, and of who leaked news of the impending arrest. Machover also demanded that Israel's Foreign Ministry waive their diplomatic privileges to facilitate investigation. Peter Clarke, the UK anti-terrorism coordinator refused these demands, stating that he lacked resources for such an investigation. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw apologized to his Israeli counterpart over the attempted arrest, and said that warrant has been withdrawn. The Guardian reported that the UK government was "examining stopping private individuals applying to magistrates for prosecutions over war crimes..." A review by Independent Police Complaints Commission was unable to identify the source of the leak.[7]

In 2006, after arriving in Israel to participate in an academic seminar on international justice, Kate Maynard was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and refused entry to Israel. After being interrogated by Shin Bet over the Almog affair, she was deported.[10][11]

In 2009, Almog was among the Israeli officials investigated by the National Court, a special and exceptional court in Spain, over the 2002 assassination of Hamas official Salah Shehade. The investigation was dropped on grounds that the attack had already been investigated by Israel.[12]

Post-retirement[edit]

Almog was charged with carrying out the Bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, which also led to 2013 Israeli protests

References[edit]

External links[edit]