The head of the United Nations inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas announced on Monday that he was stepping down.
Canadian international law professor William Schabas sent a letter to the UN commission, citing Israeli allegations of bias over consulting work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization, Reuters reported.
In 2012, Schabas was paid $1,300 for a legal opinion he wrote for the PLO. He said it was no different than services he provided to other organizations.
Casting himself as a victim of “malicious attacks,” Schabas wrote that he did not want the charges to cast a cloud over the investigation.
“My views on Israel and Palestine as well as on many other issues were well known and very public,” he wrote. “This work in defence of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks.”
“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,” Schabas added.
The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict , commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, is scheduled to release its report in March. Schabas said in his letter that most of the research was done, and the writing phase was underway.
Read more: The Times of Israel