Britain condemns Israel bias at United Nations rights council

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem

Haley has repeatedly attacked the council for its "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel.

Foreign Minister Boris Johnson yesterday urged the council to reform its treatment of Israel, objecting to the permanent Agenda Item 7 which deals with Israeli abuses in the Palestinian territories.

This is the first time since the Human Rights Council was formed in 2006 that a sitting member would volunteer to step aside, though Libya was suspended in 2011 after a government crackdown on unarmed protesters.

The council is scheduled to discuss Israel and the Palestinian territories on July 2, according to its agenda.

The U.S. has frequently criticized the committee for what it sees as hypocrisy and a bias against Israel.

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A pullout could be largely symbolic: The United States' current term on the council ends next year, when it could revert to the observer status held by other countries that are not members.

US Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley has slammed the council for being "grossly biased against Israel" noting that it had adopted only three resolutions separately targeting North Korea, Iran and Syria. But President Barack Obama decided it was a better idea to try to influence the council from the inside than from the sidelines, including by defending Israel against critical resolutions. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

The United States is midway through a three-year term on the council, whose goal is to denounce and investigate human rights abuses.

In January, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported work on the list was delayed due to lack of resources.

The United States initially shunned the panel over President George W. Bush's concerns that so many human rights offenders could be seated through noncompetitive elections for members nominated by their regional colleagues. In that situation, the USA would be able to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote. The council was established 12 years ago, replacing the U.N. Human Rights Commission. The announcement would come a day after the U.N.'s human rights chief, in a speech to the council, criticized President Donald Trump's immigration policy decisions that have led his administration to separate families apprehended after entering the US illegally.

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