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Israel welcomes Schabas successor as head of UN inquiry on Gaza

February 4, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Israel has cheered a UN Human Rights Council decision to appoint American jurist Mary McGowan-Davis as the replacement for William Schabas who resigned from his post as chairman of the UN inquiry into the Israeli war in Gaza.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper described the American judge as “more balanced toward Israel”, pointing out that Israel has already cooperated with her in the Goldstone commission.

According to the newspaper, Davis chaired a committee of the Human Rights Council that worked to implement the recommendations of the Goldstone Commission report on the war on Gaza in 2008-2009 dubbed “Operation Cast Lead”.

In her report, Davis criticised Israel for not concluding its investigations but wrote that “Israel dedicated remarkable resources to investigate more than 400 claims on unethical performance in Gaza and that the army investigations are acceptable.”

Haaretz noted that Davis was among the reasons that led Judge Goldstone to write his article in which he retreated from part of the conclusions he presented on “Operation Cast Lead”.

At the time, Goldstone wrote that if he was aware of the facts presented in Davis’s report, he would have written a different document.

Goldstone retracted in his article the conclusion that Israel had deliberately targeted civilians.