NH NOTE: The following important article appeared in the Israel News:
Jerusalem refuses to cooperate with members of the Schabas Commission, appointed to investigate conduct of Israel, Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
By Itamar Eichner
Published: 11.12.14, 21:05 / Israel News
Israel denied entry on Wednesday evening to members of a UN commission appointed by the Human Rights Council to investigate possible war crimes committed during Operation Protective Edge.
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Members of the committee, often referred to by the name of the lead investigator, Prof. William Schabas, had arrived in Amman before asking permission to enter Israel. Jerusalem refused their request and the decision led to an announcement that Israel would not cooperate with the commission.
The Schabas commission was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during the heated confrontation last summer.
After his appointment, Schabas urged Israel to cooperate with the investigation and rejected accusations that he was anti-Israel. In August, he told Ynet that he did was not anti-Israel, saying he had visited the country “many times.”
The foreign ministry had cast doubts on the appointment after its announcement, saying that “the report has already been written and they just chose who would sign it.” Some within the professional ranks of the ministry recommended to the political echelon to not cooperate with the panel in order to avoid endowing the inquiry with legitimacy.
Foreign ministry officials stress that the Human Rights Council had already decided to convict Israel in its report and have decided to treat the panel as a “rigged game.”
A senior official in the office said at the time that “Goldstone also disappeared, and we didn’t cooperate with him either.”
Schabas, a Canadian professor of international criminal and human rights law and the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, has previously stated he would’ve liked to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “within the dock of the International Criminal Court.”
In a law journal article he wrote in December 2010, Schabas wrote that Netanyahu could be considered “the single individual most likely to threaten the survival of Israel.”
He wrote that in response to Netanyahu’s statement that Israel faces “three major strategic challenges. The Iranian nuclear program, rockets aimed at our civilians and Goldstone.”
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report.
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