The resignation of the head of a United Nations Human Rights Commission inquiry into Israel’s summer assault on Gaza reflects a larger problem: Israel’s intensive campaign to impede any attempt by an external organization to hold it to account for war crimes, says Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. Prof. William Schabas, a Canadian expert in international law, announced his resignation Feb. 3 in response to charges of anti-Israel bias.

However, the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization based in Geneva is confident that pressure from Israel will not prevent the commission from conducting a thorough and fair investigation.

“Such acts by Israel are part of a long pattern of intimidation,” says Ramy Abdu, chair of Euro-Med Monitor. “However, our team in Gaza will continue to cooperate with the commission and any other inquiries related to human rights violations committed by either side.”

Earlier, Israeli authorities denied entry to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rachida Manjo, and declared that they would not cooperate with any commission of inquiry investigating the summer assault.

Euro-Med Monitor denounces the lack of international effort to date to put an end to the pressure exerted by Israel on commissions of inquiry.