UN Human Rights Council International Commission
of Inquiry on Gaza, Head of Mission: William Schabas
Mission's biased mandate:
On August 11, 2014, William Schabas was appointed by Baudelaire Ndong Ella of Gabon (member state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), President of the UN Human Rights Council, to lead an inquisition on Israel and the 2014 Gaza war. On February 2, 2015 Schabas was forced to resign after it was discovered that he had been a paid legal advisor to Palestinian authorities.
The mandate of the Schabas inquiry was established by a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council adopted on July 23, 2014 at a special session.
The resolution "decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, whether before, during or after, to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible, to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures" S-21/1
In other words, the resolution limits the inquiry to alleged legal violations "in
the occupied Palestinian territory." Hamas actions in Israel are irrelevant. The resolution starts the timeline at June 13, 2014, deliberately eliminating the unrelenting rocket fire from Hamas to Israel in the preceding months and years. The start date of June 13, 2014 is also intended to exclude the kidnapping by Hamas operatives of three Israeli boys on June 12, 2013 - the horrific aggression that Israel refused to ignore.
The mandate precludes an unbiased result, of no consequence to Schabas, notwithstanding his legalistic facade. Mission's biased judge: William Schabas was chosen to head the inquisition precisely because he had already made up his mind and his views were widely known. Schabas has already declared Israel is guilty of international crimes, while Hamas is just a "political party." He specifically championed the Goldstone report which contained the slanderous accusation that Israel had deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians (a charge Goldstone himself later recanted). And he has already recommended that Israel be tried before the International Criminal Court, starting with its Prime Minister.
- Speaking at the War Crimes Research Symposium, Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, September 10, 2010
"If I had to think of the individual who would be the greatest threat to the survival of Israel I probably choose Netanyahu ...I really do feel that I have to step in and say a few words in defense of Richard Goldstone and of the Goldstone report. ...He has undergone all kinds of very unhappy consequences as a result of doing something the rest of us would be fortunate to get to do in our lives...If we look at the poor people of Gaza who are now into 4th generation of living in refugee camps living in one of the most populated and most impoverished parts of the world and all they want is a state and they get punished for insisting upon this and for supporting a political party in their own determination and assessment that seems to be representing that aspiration...[M]aybe Palestinian authority can make a declaration saying when they are a state they will ratify the Rome statute...[T]hat...might focus the mind of some of the Israeli soldiers and their leaders on the possibility that they be prosecuted."
- Speaking at the "Russell Tribunal on Palestine", New York, 6-8 October 2012
"International law can be used to demonstrate and underscore the violations committed by the state of Israel and moreover can be used to hold accountable individuals who have perpetrated international crimes against the people of Palestine...Crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggression all of which I think can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the state of Israel... The ICC is in a position to exercise jurisdiction over the crimes committed on the territory of Palestine since 2002...My favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock of the International Criminal Court"
- Interview with Israeli channel 2, August 12, 2014
"Question: Do you consider Hamas a terror organization?
William Schabas: It would be inappropriate for me to answer a question like that."
(Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by civilized countries across the globe, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan.)
- "William Schabas, head of UN Gaza commission, dismisses anti-Israel charge", uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com, August 12, 2014
"There's a very real possibility now of the International Criminal Court being involved or being engaged in this."