The United States sharply condemned the UN's Commission of Inquiry on Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, after it released its latest anti-Israel report.
"We are deeply concerned by the Israel Commission of Inquiry’s one-sided report, which contributes to the polarization of the situation and does not advance prospects for peace," said US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council Michèle Taylor, as quoted by Haaretz.
"The COI’s open-ended nature and vague scope, along with the antisemitic remarks made by a member of the Commission, further demonstrate the disproportionate, biased treatment of Israel at the HRC," Taylor noted. Her comments echo State Department spokesperson Ned Price's general condemnation of the report upon its initial rollout earlier this week.
"We have made our concerns about this Commission of Inquiry clear from the start. Israel is consistently unfairly targeted in the UN system, including in the course of this Commission of Inquiry. Israel is the only country that’s subject to a standing country-specific agenda," Price said, adding that "no country should be immune from scrutiny, but no country should also be targeted unfairly, and that’s the principle that we seek to uphold."
The Commission of Inquiry, which is headed by former UN human rights official Navi Pillay, calls on the UN Security Council in the report released Thursday to put an end to the "permanent occupation" of Palestinian Arab territories by Israel and asks the various UN member states to prosecute Israeli leaders.
The 28-page report, which will be presented to the UN General Assembly on October 27, accuses Israel of “violating international law by making permanent its control over the West Bank” and “annexing Palestinian-claimed lands of Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as Syrian land in the Golan Heights."
The Commission of Inquiry’s previous report, released in June, accused Israel of “war crimes” during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May of 2021.
Pillay, who was named as the head of the Commission of Inquiry in July of 2021, has a history of anti-Israel statements.
In 2014, she condemned Israel for "targeting" UN-run schools and hospitals in Gaza, while failing to mention three UN-run schools in Gaza had been used as rocket warehouses, a gross violation of international law that clearly falls within the category of war crimes.
Weeks before that, Pillay opened an emergency UN debate on Gaza by saying there is a "strong possibility" that Israel is violating law in Gaza, and that could amount to war crimes.