Tanks: Op. Protective Edge, Day 18
Tanks: Op. Protective Edge, Day 18 Flash90

United Nations investigators probing Operation Protective Edge asked Monday to postpone their report to allow time to adjust after the head of the team quit, AFP reported. 

The Commission of Inquiry on Israel's war with Hamas was scheduled to present its findings to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 23.

But in a letter addressed to the head of the council, the investigators requested to delay their presentation until the next council session in June, saying they needed "to adjust our work due to the late resignation of (our) former chair."

Canadian international law expert William Schabas resigned as chair of the commission last month. Israel argued he was not impartial because he had prepared a legal opinion for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - the terror organization behind the Palestinian Authority (PA) - in October 2012.

Schabas denied he was beholden to the PLO, but said he was stepping down to avoid the inquiry into the July-August conflict - commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council - being compromised in any way.

Israel, meanwhile, called for the entire inquiry to be shelved, noting the Human Rights Council's known bias against the Jewish state. Refusing to cooperate with the inquiry, Israel explained it was due to the "obsessive hostility against Israel of this commission."

Schabas's resignation left the commission with only two members: former New York judge Mary McGowan Davis, who took over as chair, and Doudou Diene of Senegal, who previously served as the UN's watchdog on racism and on post-conflict Ivory Coast.

In her letter, McGowan Davis explained that in addition to dealing with the shrinking of the team, the commission was facing a "large number of additional submissions and documents received over the past few weeks from both sides," which it needed to "analyse with the utmost objectivity."

Joachim Ruecker, the president of the Human Rights Council, said in a statement that he supported the request for more time "to allow them to finalize a comprehensive report as mandated."

However, the council as a whole will need to officially accept the delay, which will likely happen on Tuesday.