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US withdraws from UN rights council 'over anti-Israel bias'

Haley has consistently voted against UN measures critical of Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 June, 2018

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The United States has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, US ambassador Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, branding the global body a "cesspool of political bias."

The United States has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, US ambassador Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, branding the global body a "cesspool of political bias."

"We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights," Haley said.

She added that it was "not worthy of its name".

US ambassador to the UN has repeatedly criticised the council over alleged "anti-Israel bias" and threatened to leave last year.

Haley has consistently voted against UN measures critical of Israel, most recently on a proposal to investigate Israel's use of excessive force in the Gaza Strip.

In May, the UN council held a special meeting to discuss violence in Gaza, following an Israeli massacre of over 60 Palestinian protesters.

The US and Australia were the only two countries to vote against a proposal for an "independent, international commission of inquiry" to investigate violations of human rights in Gaza.

The move will likely reinforce the belief that the administration US President Donald Trump is seeking to advance Israel's agenda on the world stage, just as it prepares to unveil its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted by a strong majority an Arab-backed resolution condemning Israel for the killing of protesters.

The resolution condemned Israel's use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinian civilians and called for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

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