Netanyahu: Block UNHRC Gaza Report

February 3, 2015  

Following the resignation of William Schabas from the chairmanship of the committee established by the UN Human Rights Council into the summer’s Gaza war, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the committee’s report should go unpublished.

“After the resignation of the committee head, who was biased against Israel, the report – which was written at the behest of the UNHRC, which has proven itself to be an anti-Israeli body that has nothing to do with human rights – should be shelved,” said Netanyahu Tuesday morning.

“The terror organizations and the terror regimes are the ones that should be investigated,” he added.

Canadian law professor Schabas, who was appointed to head the UN committee tasked with probing Israel’s alleged “war crimes” during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, announced on Monday evening he was stepping down.

Schabas cited Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the reason for his resignation.

In a letter to the UNHRC, Schabas said he would step down immediately to prevent the issue from overshadowing the preparation of the report and its findings, which are due to be published in March.

In the letter, Schabas said a legal opinion he wrote for the PLO in 2012, for which he was paid $1,300, was not different from advice he had given to many other governments and organizations.

“My views on Israel and Palestine as well as on many other issues were well known and very public,” he wrote, according to Reuters. “This work in defense of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks (…).”

“I believe that it is difficult for the work to continue while a procedure is underway to consider whether the chair of the commission should be removed,” Schabas added.

Schabas is well-known for his bias against Israel. Speaking in a 2013 panel, Schabas clearly revealed his great eagerness to bring about the prosecution of Israel over its actions in Gaza, even if that involved “twisting things and maneuvering” in the international legal arena.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor compared appointing Schabas to head the inquiry to “choosing Count Dracula to run a blood bank,” and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel should not cooperate with the probe.

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