The head of the United Nations' Human Rights Council announced on Monday he had appointed a US judge to join a panel set up to look into alleged war crimes during Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

Israel has already dismissed the panel as a "kangaroo court" that is biased in advance against the Jewish state.

US judge Mary McGowan Davis will join Canadian academic William Schabas and former UN racism investigator Doudou Diene of Senegal on the Commission of Inquiry created in July at the request of Palestinians backed by Arab and Muslim states.

Schabas is to chair the three-member group, to the annoyance of Israel which has pointed to the Canadian's record as a strong critic of the Jewish state and its current political leadership.

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