William Schabas .
(photo credit: screenshot)
William Schabas, the controversial international jurist who was tapped to head the United Nations Human Rights Council probe into possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during Operation Protective Edge, denied on Wednesday that he “hates Israel.”
“I do not hate Israel,” Schabas is quoted as saying in an interview with the Arab-language daily Asharq al-Awsat.
Schabas’ appointment to head the panel has been assailed by Israeli government officials due to the Canadian law expert’s past statements regarding Israel’s alleged complicity in war crimes against the Palestinians.
In his interview with Asharq al-Awsat
, Schabas vowed that he would “put my opinions aside” and proceed with the investigation in an impartial manner.
“This is an investigation that is necessary,” Schabas said. “I will not resign. I do not hate Israel. I will put my prior positions aside.”
“Even if Spiderman was heading the probe, they would’ve attacked him,” he said. “Our people will be on the ground very soon.”
Schabas said that the mission of his team is not necessarily to produce war crimes charges against specific individuals.
“If we manage to pinpoint those responsible for crimes so that they are then tried before a tribunal, this will be excellent,” he said. “But we will suffice with revealing the truth.”