United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said Monday that he understands Israel's decision to sever its ties with the UN Human Rights Council, following its decision to probe its settlements policies.
During a meeting with students at Tel Aviv University, Shapiro said that the Council "obsessively focuses" on Israel, while neglecting other human rights issues that are far more important and urgent.
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The ambassador explained that the United States continues to sit at the Council in order to try shift the focus away on Israel and put it where it belongs, in Syria or Iran.
Shapiro also noted that the United States was the only member to vote against setting up the commission of inquiry, against ten European countries.
The Homan Rights Council decided last week to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate whether the Jewish settlements infringe on Palestinians' rights.
Following its decision, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that Israel will sever all ties with the Council.
"It means that we're not going to work with them. We're not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the Human Rights Council, including this probe," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
Rotating President of the Human Rights Council Laura Dupuy Lasserre said Monday evening that Israel's decision is "very regrettable", adding that it is in Israel's interest to cooperate with the Council, so it can explain its policy and actions to the representatives appointed to the commission of inquiry.
Lasserre stressed that though she heard about the decision from multiple media outlets, she has yet to receive an official notice on the matter.
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