Pro-Palestinian activists sought Tuesday to have Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrested in Britain, they said ahead of a planned protest against his visit here.
Barak was due to attend a fringe meeting at the governing Labor Party's annual conference in Brighton, on England's south coast, where demonstrators said they would protest on Tuesday evening.
"The presence of Ehud Barak in Brighton while Britain's party of government is meeting is a disgrace," said Betty Hunter, general secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Referring to the Gaza war that broke out at the end of 2008, she added: "As a high contracting party to the Geneva Convention, the British government should be arresting Barak for war crimes, not treating him to dinner."
In London, meanwhile, lawyers said an application was lodged at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court for an arrest warrant to be issued for Barak, on grounds of war crimes in connection with the Gaza offensive.
"We have lodged that application this morning and we are waiting for a hearing time," said lawyer Tayab Ali, adding: "It has got to be today otherwise we run the risk of Ehud Barak leaving the country."
Israel's 22-day offensive in Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.
Barak is due to meet Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Wednesday, and Miliband told AFP that the meeting would go ahead "as planned" regardless of the threatened court action.
"He is the democratically-elected defense minister of Israel and I will be pleased to meet him," Miliband said.
Barak was expected at a meeting of the Friends of Israel group on Tuesday at one of the hotels inside the security cordon thrown up around the Labor conference venues.