JERUSALEM — Israel suspended a special strategic dialogue with London for as long as Israeli officials visiting Britain face possible arrest for suspected war crimes against Palestinians, officials said yesterday.
The announcement came as William Hague, the British foreign secretary, met with senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem. Officials from both countries said the matter would be high on the meeting’s agenda, and the British Foreign Office said it was working to resolve the matter.
British officials also said Hague would repeat Britain’s criticism of West Bank settlements.
They said he would tell Israeli leaders that the “window for a two-state solution is closing’’ and that the US-led peace process is the best opportunity for the two sides to hold talks. The British officials spoke on condition of anonymity, which is government policy.
The latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, launched at the White House in September, stalled quickly over Israel’s rejection of Palestinian demands for a continued freeze on West Bank settlement construction. Israel says the issue should be discussed in the negotiations.
A number of Israeli officials have been threatened with possible prosecution in Britain under the law of “universal jurisdiction,’’ which contends that crimes against humanity are so egregious that they can be prosecuted even if they were not committed in the United Kingdom.
British courts have issued arrest warrants for Israeli officials, and though no one has been arrested, the repeated attempts to prosecute them have strained ties between the two countries.
The two countries announced the special strategic dialogue two years ago to boost relations and cooperation on security and diplomatic issues, but Israel put the sessions on hold after Tzipi Livni, the former foreign minister, canceled a trip to London for fear of arrest earlier this year.