U.N. panel investigating Gaza war asks for extension on report

The United Nations flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) A United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) panel that is investigating Israel’s military operation in last summer’s Gaza war, but not the actions of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, has asked to postpone the publication of its report from an initial March deadline until June in order to consider additional evidence it has received.

The report was due to be presented to the UNHRC on March 23. Last month, the head of the U.N. probe, William Schabas, stepped down following a revelation that he performed consulting work for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Schabas was already known for his past criticism of Israel, including a call for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres to be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court for alleged human rights violations.

Mary McGowan Davis, who succeeded Schabas as head of the panel, said, “In this context, the Commission must analyze with the utmost objectivity the large number of additional submissions and documents received over the past few weeks from both sides, relating to the fact-finding dimension of our mandate,” Reuters reported. 

Israel has refused to cooperate with the panel, citing the UNHRC’s longtime bias against the Jewish state.

Posted on March 9, 2015 .