An IDF soldier rides an armored personnel carrier toward a staging area near the Gaza border.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The United Nations Human Rights Council is scheduled to hear an initial oral report on the Gaza probe into IDF actions during last summer’s conflict with Hamas on March 23rd, during its 28th session in Geneva this month.
The Commission of Inquiry’s full report on possible human rights violations and war crimes during that time will be presented to the UNHRC in June, during its 29th session.
The Commission had initially been scheduled to present the report on March 23rd, but asked for a delay until June to give it more time to weigh the evidence it collected through oral and written testimony. On Monday, the UNHRC formally approved that request but asked for an initial oral report. It noted that no dialogue would follow the oral report.
Israel had refused to cooperate with the probe, which it has charged is akin to a Kangaroo court, whose verdict was written even before the investigation began.
It was particularly upset when the UNHRC initially appoint Canadian legal expert William Schabas to head the probe, particularly since he had already publicly stated that he believed Netanyahu should be placed on the docket before the International Criminal Court.
Schabas resigned last month, after Israel discovered that he had briefly worked as a paid consultant for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Probe member Mary McGowan Davis, a former New York Supreme Court judge, replaced Schabas as the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry.
She and Senegalese legal expert Doudou Diene are writing the report, which will focus on Gaza, but will also look at human rights violations in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Israel is hopeful that the delay means that McGowan Davis and Diene are taking a more balanced approach to the material.