GENEVA — PLO leader Yasser Arafat made his debut before the U.N. Human Rights Commission today and likened Israeli practices in the occupied territories to the Nazi extermination campaign.
Arafat also called for the formation of an "international force" to protect Palestinian residents.
The United States, he said, is encouraging Israel to "carry on with aggression and crimes" by giving the Jewish state "unlimited support."
The U.S. delegation left the crowded conference hall before Arafat's speech began.
A member of the delegation, Marshall Breger, declined to call it a walkout, saying only: "We are not present."
The seat of the Israeli delegate, who has observer status in the 43-nation commission, remained empty. The delegate, Ambassador Pinhas Eliav, said in a press statement that Arafat's presence at the commission "makes a mockery of everything that body stands for."
In his speech, Arafat said the Israeli methods of dealing with the recent Arab unrest in Gaza and the West Bank are "operations of collective extermination."