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Israel Blocks UN ‘War Crimes’ Probe Envoy

FM spokesperson reveals UNHRC investigator kept out of Gaza ahead of report due to probe’s ‘anti-Israeli and one-sided mandate.’
An official revealed Monday that Israel has blocked a visit to Gaza, Judea and Samaria by a member of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which is poised to released a report over last summer’s counter-terror Operation Protective Edge; the report is anticipated to be highly biased against Israel.

It was the second time Makarim Wibisono, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian-held territories, had been barred entry, as Israel refuses to be part of the probe by the UNHRC which has been hostile to the Jewish state.

“We didn’t allow this visit,” which was to take place last week, foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told AFP.

“Israel cooperates with all the international commissions and all (UN) rapporteurs, except when the mandate handed to them is anti-Israeli and Israel has no chance to make itself heard.”

Israel argues that the UNHRC, to which Wibisono reports, is concluding an investigation into last summer’s war that was established in a resolution with wording making clear it viewed Israel as guilty of violations as a foregone conclusion.

That bias was further cemented in the appointment of Canadian lawyer William Schabas to head the probe. Schabas has a long history of anti-Israel invective, and stepped down from the investigation after it was revealed he had done contract work with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terror group.

The report based on the probe is expected to be published in the coming days, and the council is scheduled to debate it on June 29.

While Wibisono reports to the council, his visit was allegedly for a separate, annual assessment of Gaza, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, although it was anticipated his visit would serve a dual purpose.

Israel barred him from entering last year for a similar visit.


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