US continues to oppose UNHRC mandate on Israel – official

WASHINGTON, March 30 (KUNA) — The US on Wednesday reiterated its opposition of a UNHRC mandate to use Agenda Item VII to debate Israeli violations of human rights but said it strongly opposes Israeli settlement activity in occupied territories.
In a briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that a resolution included in the agenda, which obliges the formation of a database to declare businesses operating across Israeli settlements, is an “unprecedented step by the Council.” “The creation of such a database, as called for, would be what we in our view, an unprecedented step by the Council. We believe that this is far outside their scope of authority.” The US “strongly and unequivocally opposes the very existence of the Human Rights Council Agenda Item Seven (on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories) … and therefore any resolutions at the HRC that come from it,” he said.
The Council’s “bias” against Israel “does not serve the interest of the Council to single out one country in what we believe to be an unbalanced manner,” he added.
Kirby said, however that, “as you know, we strongly oppose Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories.
“We continue to view (that) as eroding the prospects for a two-state solution”. (end) sd.hb