Schabas vows to probe Gaza operation even without Israel's cooperation

August 17, 2014 16:33

In an interview with Channel 2, UN inquiry panel chief said he "might even come to Israel to examine things from up close.”

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William Schabas

William Schabas . (photo credit: screenshot)

The international jurist who was tapped to head the United Nations Human Rights Council inquiry into Israel’s conduct during Operation Protective Edge defiantly vowed to follow through on his investigation even if the Israeli government refuses to cooperate.

In an interview with Channel 2, Prof. William Schabas said he will proceed with his probe, “and I might even come to Israel to examine things from up close.”

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Schabas has come under a torrent of criticism here in Israel for prior statements regarding the need to bring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before an international tribunal for war crimes. Those remarks have prompted Israeli government officials to dismiss him as an impartial investigator, and that his opinions render the panel which he heads “a kangaroo court.”

“The committee hasn’t begun its work,” the Canadian jurist told Channel 2. “When the UN gives us its final approval – and we hope this will be very soon – we will begin our work. It’s very important for us to come to Israel, but this visit won’t be important if the authorities in Israel don’t cooperate with us, despite my hope that they will cooperate.”

Despite calls by Israel to have Schabas replaced, the professor said he will remain in his post. The UNHRC has stated that it stands behind Schabas’s appointment as head of the committee.

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