Israel Severs Ties with with UN Human Rights Group

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel announced Monday it has cut ties with the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

The council, prompted by the Palestinian Authority, was set to investigate the impact of Jewish communities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) on Palestinian rights.

In a 36-1 vote, with 10 abstentions, the council decided it would send a fact-finding commission to Israel.

Now Israel said it will not allow any Human Rights Council members, including Commissioner Navi Pillay, or any commission to enter Israel or the West Bank.

Neither will Israel make any appearances before the council or take phone calls from its members.    

"As the Human Rights Council in Geneva systematically ignores our views, our positions and our concerns, and does not really cooperate with us on issues of consequence, we have decided as of today not to cooperate with the Human Rights Council," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

"We have decided to sever all working ties with the body and will remain so until further notice," he said.

The U.S. has criticized the Human Rights Council in the past for its strongly anti-Israel stance.

Current members include Cuba, China, Libya, and Saudi Arabia.

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