US will not take floor at UN rights debate on Israel, Palestinians

March 23, 2015 11:01

GENEVA - The United States will not take the floor at the main UN human rights forum on Monday during the annual debate on violations committed in the Palestinian territories, a US spokesman told Reuters.

The step, which is unprecedented at the 47-member state forum where Washington unfailingly defends Israel, follows signals that the Obama administration is undertaking a "reassessment" of relations with the Jewish state.

"The US delegation will not be speaking about Palestine today," a US spokesman in Geneva told Reuters in response to a query as the debate began. He declined further comment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's allies acknowledged on Sunday that his election-eve disavowal of a Palestinian state had caused a rift with the White House, but blamed US President Barack Obama's unprecedented criticism on a misunderstanding.

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