Days of Palestine

Thursday, June 8

UN to put off publication of Gaza war probe

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Days of Palestine, Geneva –UN investigators probing possible war crimes committed during last summer’s Israeli war on Gaza asked to put off publication of report.

In a statement, the report on violations by Israeli armed forces and Hamas in Gaza during the July-August war was due to be issued to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 23.
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The Council President Joachim Ruecker said that he backed the request for a deferral to June 2015 to finalise a comprehensive report by the team of investigators. The Council is expected to approve the postponement before its ongoing main annual session ends on March 27.

William Schabas, the former chairman of the commission of inquiry, stepped down last month after Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the PLO. That was a kind of pressure by the Israeli occupation, which wants the report to be shelved.

Mary McGowan Davis, who succeeded Schabas as chair, sent a letter on Monday to the Council President Ruecker. The letter was made public.

He said: “In this context, the Commission must analyse 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.”

Some 2,260 Palestinians were killed during the latest Gaza war, most of whom were civilians including children and women, while 66 Israeli soldiers and five civilians.