A team of independent experts mandated to probe alleged war crimes in Israel and Gaza will leave for the Middle East over the weekend, UN spokesman Rolando Gomez said Friday. He said that the mission, led by veteran prosecutor Richard Goldstone, was expected to begin its work next week. Speaking in Geneva, Gomez told reporters that Goldstone had repeatedly asked the Israeli government to cooperate with his mission. He was unable to say whether Goldstone has received a response. Israel has previously described the probe as "intrinsically flawed" because it was ordered by the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, which has an anti-Israeli track record. Goldstone has said he wants his team to examine both sides of the January conflict.