Israel praises US for abstaining from UN human rights session on Gaza
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.