US says will oppose what it calls UNHRC 'disproportionate' attention on Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A general view during a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, August 24, 2021. (Reuters photo)

The United States says it will oppose what it calls "disproportionate" attention by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Israel.

This comes after the US has been elected to the UNHRC for the first time since the administration of former president Donald Trump quit the international body in 2018.

On Tuesday, the US Department of State announced Washington won a seat on the council for its next term, beginning in 2022.

“We will work hard to ensure the Council upholds its highest aspirations and better supports those fighting against injustice and tyranny around the world,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed in a statement.

The remarks came as some human rights defenders have criticized the US administration, saying that it has not done enough to hold Washington’s allies accountable for their human rights abuses.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US would “vigorously oppose” the council’s focus on Israel.

"We have concerns with the council. We will vigorously oppose the council's disproportionate attention on Israel, which includes the council's only standing agenda item targeting a single country," Price claimed.

The UNHRC has faced bipartisan criticism in the US Congress over its reports and statements on Israeli abuses against Palestinians.

On Sep. 13, for instance, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet hit out at the Israeli regime for using “excessive or entirely unwarranted” force against Palestinian people in the occupied territories in violation of international rules.

Also in May, the council agreed to open an investigation with a broad mandate to cover Israeli crimes not just in the Gaza Strip, but also in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Bachelet told the council at the time that deadly Israeli strikes on Gaza might constitute war crimes.

At least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in 11 days of the war that began on May 10. Israel’s airstrikes also brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished territory.

The Gaza-based resistance movements responded by launching over 4,000 rockets into the occupied territories, some reaching as far as Tel Aviv and even Haifa and Nazareth to the north.

The Tel Aviv regime has been repeatedly criticized for its extensive use of lethal force against and extrajudicial killing of Palestinians who do not pose an immediate threat to the occupation forces.

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