UN Gaza Probe Chief Schabas: ‘Israel Would’ve Attacked Spiderman’ (VIDEO)
Canadian Prof. William Schabas, selected to head the United Nations Human Rights Council inquiry into Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, told an Arabic newspaper on Wednesday that Israel, which opposed his appointment, also would have opposed anyone else in the role.
Schabas said that “even if Spiderman was heading the commission,” Israel would voice objections, in an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
“This is an investigation that is necessary,” Schabas said. “I will not resign. I do not hate Israel. I will put my prior positions aside.”
Additionally, on August 20th, Schabas vowed to conduct his investigation with or without the cooperation of the Israeli government.
“I might even come to Israel to examine things from up close,” he told Israel’s Channel 2. “When the U.N. gives us its final approval—and we hope this will be very soon—we will begin our work. It’s very important for us to come to Israel, but this visit won’t be important if the authorities in Israel don’t cooperate with us, despite my hope that they will cooperate.”
The Israeli government has been highly critical of the new U.N. probe, calling it a “kangaroo court.” Schabas has made harsh anti-Israel statements in the past, including calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres to be indicted before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The Foreign Ministry slammed the establishment of the commission, charging that it was “tainted by the fact that Palestinian officials – prominent Palestinian speakers as Ibrahim Kreisha, the PA representative in Geneva, and Hanan Ashrawi – as well as four Palestinian NGO’s, are allowed to be deeply involved in its work.
“Throughout the recent conflict Israel has done its utmost to comply with the strictest standards of international humanitarian law, despite significant operational costs. Moreover, as part of Israel’s commitment to the rule of law, Israel decided to in initiate a professional and comprehensive examination of alleged violations of international law, including the laws of armed conflict,” according to the ministry.
Watch Schabas defend his position and views on Israel and its leadership in a interview with CNN: