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William Schabas Resigns from UN Inquiry into Israeli War Crimes in Gaza, Under Israeli Pressure

February 3, 2015 


William Schabas

IOF troops violently disband peaceful anti-Israel rally in Al-Khalil (Hebron)


Schabas to resign from UN inquiry into Israeli aggression

January 3, 2015


The head of a U.N. inquiry into the last Israeli aggression on Gaza William Schabas said on Monday he would resign after Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Reuters news agency revealed.

Schabas, a Canadian academic who lives in Britain and teaches international law at Middlesex University, was appointed last August by the head of the UN Human Rights Council to lead a three-member group looking into Israel's war crimes during its last summer military offensive against Gaza.

In a letter to the commission, a copy of which was published by Reuters, Schabas said on Monday he would step down immediately to prevent the issue from overshadowing the preparation of the report and its findings, which are due to be published in March.

Schabas's departure highlights the sensitivity of the UN investigation just weeks after prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said they had started a preliminary inquiry into alleged atrocities in the Palestinian territories.

In the letter, Schabas said a legal opinion he wrote for the PLO in 2012, for which he was paid $1,300, was not different from advice he had given to many other governments and organizations.

"My views on Israel and Palestine as well as on many other issues were well known and very public," he wrote. "This work in defense of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks."

Israel had long criticized Schabas's appointment, citing his record as a strong critic of the Jewish state and its current political leadership. 

Schabas said his work for the PLO had prompted the Human Rights Council's executive on Monday to seek legal advice about his position from U.N. headquarters.

"I believe that it is difficult for the work to continue while a procedure is underway to consider whether the chair of the commission should be removed," he continued.

The commission had largely finished gathering evidence and had begun writing the report, he added.

The appointment of Schabas was welcomed at the time by Hamas but was harshly criticized by Jewish groups in the United States.

Schabas had said at the time he was determined to put aside any views about "things that have gone on in the past".


Israeli officials, settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque

February 3, 2015


A group of Jewish settlers and officials headed by the Israeli police commander stormed Tuesday morning al-Aqsa Mosque and launched provocative desecration tours in its plaza.

Nearly 20 Jewish settlers along with 15 Israeli officials broke into al-Aqsa Mosque this morning from al-Magaribeh gate under heavy police protection, eyewitnesses reported.

In the same context, a Palestinian report revealed that 956 Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque during January, while Israeli daily attacks against Palestinian worshipers were registered in the same period.

The data showed that during January 25 Palestinians were prevented from having access to the holy shrine for 15-60 days.

During the reporting period, two Palestinian Islamic associations working on the defense of al-Aqsa Mosque within the Green Line were shut down following a decision by Israeli war minister Moshe Ya’alon.

The report pointed out that break-ins into al-Aqsa Mosque have been notably invested by political parties prior to the projected March elections in Israel.

Several Israeli attempts were also reported during January to launch a remotely controlled flying device with camera over the Mosque's compound.

Along the same line, Israeli media sources unveiled an Israeli plan to register Muslims’ holy al-Aqsa Mosque as an Israeli state property to be officially run by the so-called Tabu (land registration) office as a prelude for establishing a Jewish synagogue over parts of the holy site.

3 students among 5 detainees in J’lem

February 3, 2015,


Violent clashes broke out Monday evening in Tur town i occupied Jerusalem when Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) were deployed in large numbers in the vicinity of a local school.

Wadi al-Hilweh Information Center reported that IOF soldiers were stationed near the school while students were leaving their classes after the end of the school day, which led to the outbreak of confrontation in the area.

A 10-year-old boy was arrested during the clashes for allegedly stoning Israeli soldiers. By-passers tried to release him but in vain. 

Two other young men were also nabbed amid heavy fire of tear gas bombs towards the students while leaving the school.

Along the same line, the center quoted Addameer Foundation as stating that two Jerusalemite children were nabbed in Silwan town after the school day had ended.

IOF troops violently disband peaceful anti-Israel rally

Feb 3, 2015


Clashes broke out afternoon Monday between the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and a group of Palestinian activists after the latter rallied in protest at a visit to be paid by the Israeli president Reuven Rivlin to the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil.

Palestinian activists said heavy volleys of tear gas grenades and rubber bullets were unleashed by the Israeli occupation troops on the peaceful Palestinian protesters who flocked in Bab al-Zaouia, near al-Shuhada'a street in al-Khalil, in protest at Rivlin’s projected stopover in the city.

A number of peaceful Palestinian rally-goers sustained injuries and others choked on tear gas as the IOF violently disbanded the demo.

Rivlin’s projected visit falls in line with intents to prop up Judaization schemes in al-Khalil city, the activists further warned.

The Mayor of al-Khalil, Kamel Hamid, slammed the intended visit, dubbing it an attempt to legitimize the Israeli occupation and boost up illegal settlement in the city.

“This is a blow dealt by the extremist Israeli government to the efforts made by the international community to restore peace and Palestinians’ legitimate right to rule their state freely and independently,” the mayor said.

“This is also a barefaced violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international law,” he added.




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