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Erekat criticises US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

Image of Saeb Erekat [file photo]
Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Saeb Erekat [File photo]

The Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation has slammed Washington’s decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council. “In making such a decision,” insisted Dr Saeb Erekat, “the US has chosen occupation, settlement and the law of force, instead of the force of law, international legitimacy and international law.”

The veteran Palestinian official made his remarks in separate meetings held on Wednesday with European officials. Erekat noted that America’s defence of Israel has made it “a full partner” in its illegal actions.

“The international community,” he pointed out, “stands against occupation, colonisation, collective punishment, siege and closure, arrogance, force, field executions, unjust arrests, house demolitions, ethnic cleansing and blatant violations of the Geneva Conventions.”

On Tuesday, Washington announced its formal withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council at a press conference held by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley. The latter claimed that UNHCR is “politically biased” and that her country had decided to withdraw, “because our commitment does not allow us to remain part of a hypocritical organisation that serves itself and abuses human rights.”

In response, UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein described the US decision as disappointing, if not really surprising, news. “Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back.”

Read: The US passes another milestone in its decline

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