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Thursday, 05 August 2021

UN rights body holding session on Gaza next week

More than 60 states, including member states and observer states, have so far expressed support for the special session, council spokesman Rolando Gomez said

AP , Thursday 20 May 2021
UN Human Rights Council
FILE PHOTO FILE PHOTO: Overview of the United Nations Human Rights Council is seen in Geneva, Switzerland June 6, 2017. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS
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The U.N.'s top human rights body said Thursday it will hold a special session next week to address ``the grave human rights situation'' in Palestinian areas in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The Human Rights Council will convene the May 27 meeting following a request presented by Pakistan, as coordinator of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.

The session at the 47-member state body in Geneva paves the way for a day-long debate over the recent Israeli crackdown on the Palestinians in Jerusalem and military campaign on Gaza Strip.

More than 60 states, including member states and observer states, have so far expressed support for the special session, council spokesman Rolando Gomez said.

The United States, under President Donald Trump, quit the council in mid-2018 _ partially over the administration's allegations that the council has an anti-Israel bias. President Joe Biden has returned the U.S. to participation at the council, and the U.S. plans to seek a seat next year.

Israel's ambassador in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, called on member states to ``strongly oppose this meeting.''

``The convening of yet another special session by the Human Rights Council targeting Israel is testament to the clear anti-Israel agenda of this body,'' she wrote on Twitter.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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