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Known anti-Israel critic appointed head of UNHRC Gaza probe

( Known anti-Israel critic William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, has been selected to head a three-person investigation by the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) into the Gaza conflict, which the Israeli government slammed as a “kangaroo court.” Schabas in the past has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres to be indicted before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. “Why are we going after the president of Sudan for Darfur and not the president of Israel [Peres] for Gaza?” Schabas said in 2009. Also in 2009, Schabas claimed that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was not anti-Semitic, but rather nothing more than a “provocative politician.”

Schabas denies that he is anti-Israel. But the Israeli Foreign Ministry disputed this. “His opinions against Israel are known to all, and prove without a doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from this body,” said the Israeli Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Schabas will be joined by human rights expert Doudou Diene of Senegal on the probe. British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is engaged to Hollywood star George Clooney, said she would not take part in the probe after initially being selected. “I am honored to have received the offer, but given existing commitments – including eight ongoing cases – I unfortunately could not accept this role,” she said in a statement.

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