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Netanyahu: UN Gaza probe should be ‘shelved’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that a probe by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) into last year’s Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip should be shelved in light of the recent resignation of inquiry commission head William Schabas.

“After the resignation of the committee chairman, who was biased against Israel, the report that was written at the behest of the UNHRC… needs to be shelved,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The Israeli premier went so far as to slam the rights council as “an anti-Israel body, the decisions of which prove it has nothing to do with human rights.”

“This is the same council that in 2014 made more decisions against Israel than against Iran, Syria and North Korea combined,” Netanyahu asserted.

“It is Hamas, the other terrorist organizations and the terrorist regimes around us that need to be investigated, not Israel,” he added.

The Israeli government has already said it would not cooperate with the UNHRC committee formed to investigate violations committed during Israel’s onslaught on the Gaza Strip last July and August.

Israel had said that the UN council would not be objective.

The Israeli offensive left more than 2,160 Palestinians dead and some 11,000 injured – the vast majority of them civilians – while partially or completely destroying thousands of residential structures across the territory.

The onslaught, which was launched with the stated aim of ending rocket fire from the coastal enclave, finally ended with the announcement last August of an open-ended cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions.

On Monday, Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, reportedly resigned from his post as head of the investigation committee due to Israeli allegations of bias.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, for his part, hailed Schabas’ resignation, saying it was a “victory” for the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

“It is an Israeli diplomatic victory. However, it will not change the probe’s conclusions,” he said.

He added that the appointment of Schabas to investigate last year’s war against Gaza was like “appointing Cain to investigate who killed Abel.”

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International OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUN
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