Thursday, 13 November 2014

Israel says won't cooperate with UN Gaza inquiry

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Israel will not cooperate with a United Nations inquiry into its 50-day war with rocket-firing militants in Gaza this summer, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

"Since the Schabas commission is not an inquiry but a commission that gives its conclusions in advance, Israel will not cooperate with the commission of the UN Human Rights Council over the last conflict with Hamas," foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement.

The decision had been taken because of the "obsessive hostility against Israel of this commission and the words of its president against Israel and its leaders," he added.

In August, Canadian international law expert William Schabas was named as the head of the UN commission, angering Israel, where he is widely regarded as hostile to the Jewish state over reported calls to bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the International Criminal Court.

Israel has long had stormy relations with the UN Human Rights Council.

In January 2012, it became the first country to refuse to attend a periodic review of its human rights record. And two months later, it cut all ties with the council over its plans to probe how Jewish settlements were harming Palestinian rights.

Hamas welcomed the establishment of the commission which is due to report to the council in March 2015.

The Gaza war, which ended with a truce on August 26, killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

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