April 17, 2024

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The UN envoy has been talking about the “genocidal mood” in Israel for months

The UN envoy has been talking about the “genocidal mood” in Israel for months

Francesca Albanese (47 years old) is the rapporteur on human rights at the United Nations, with a particular focus on the Palestinian territories. She is adamant about the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip: she describes them as “sheer madness.”

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“If we don't have an agreement, we'll do it anyway.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not address this matter last Sunday: even a potential ceasefire would not prevent Israel from a ground invasion of Rafah. There, in that southern Gaza city, there are now an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians – the vast majority of whom have fled Israeli attacks.

Although Palestinians fear for their lives, a mass exodus from Rafah seems unlikely at the present time. Gazans have been “forced” to flee bombing for so long that they simply no longer know where to look for relative safety. Others cannot walk or afford transportation.

These are the scenes that Francesca Albanese has been warning about for months. Albanese was born in 1977 in the Italian municipality of Ariano Erbino, and was appointed rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories by the United Nations two years ago. In other words: its mission is to draw the attention of the international community to potential human rights violations in Gaza and the West Bank. And she does it.

Its message has been the same over and over again recently: countries must put more pressure on Israel to stop bombing Gaza. how? By cutting diplomatic relations with the country and immediately stopping the supply of weapons.

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Albanese said in an interview with the Dutch newspaper devotion Last December, it found that Dutch supplies of spare parts for Israeli F-35s were “unimaginable.” Albanese's message is consistent A recent statement issued by more than forty colleagues at the United Nations. They added that the export of weapons to Israel for use in Gaza likely constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law.

The rapporteurs referred to the court ruling in The Hague, which, on appeal, prevented the Dutch state from continuing to supply spare parts for F-35 aircraft. Then exports stopped. Countries such as Belgium, Spain and Italy, home to Albanians, have also suspended arms shipments to Israel. However, the UN human rights rapporteur still has a lot to fight for; Arms shipments from the United States and Germany, the largest arms exporters by far, have increased since the Hamas attack on October 7.

“Genocide statements”

But Al-Albani has the right to do much more than that. You want “ethnic cleansing” Which, in her view, Israel has been guilty of since 1948, must stop at all costs. She says in one of them: “The prevailing mood in Israel is genocide.” Norwegian Refugee Council-interview.

It also refers to “genocidal statements” made in Israel about Palestinians, who have been labeled “human animals” and “all Hamas supporters.” On social media, Albanese said nothing “except sheer insanity” could justify the “massacre” committed by Israel in Gaza.

It is particularly committed to the fate of Palestinian children. “Generations of Palestinian children, whether living in Gaza or the West Bank, have seen their lives reduced to a minimum, or often their lives ended prematurely,” she wrote in a statement.

“This deprives them of their children,” Albanese says. “Israel is stealing the future of Palestinian children.”

Albanese was widely interested in the Palestinian issue before her appointment as rapporteur. For example, she has lectured on forced displacement, published articles on relations between Israel and the Palestinian territories and worked for ten years as a human rights expert for the United Nations, focusing primarily on Palestinian refugees.

He was banned from entering Israel

This position has drawn strong criticism from Albanians from Israel. Recently, the UN envoy was no longer allowed to enter Israel. The reason, according to the Israelis: Al-Albani refuses to say that the Israeli victims of the Hamas massacre were killed because they were Jews. She described the attack as a response to Israeli oppression, which is an “outrageous statement,” according to Israel. Al-Albani is also banned from visiting Gaza and the West Bank.

This sentiment was also expressed by the Jew Hillel Noir, director of the United Nations Watch Organization. She describes Al-Albani as “extremely biased” and someone who “pretends to act impartially.” According to Neuer, Albanese, within her position, only looks at Israel's role in the battle with Hamas. Albanese has condemned Hamas' “war crimes” in previous interviews. Although at the same time she also said that she “prefers not to comment on Hamas.”

In any case, it is clear that the Italian is gradually convincing the world of her vision. The main sore point: the planned ground operation in Rafah. If Israel implements this, Egypt threatens to violate the Camp David Peace Accords in the Middle East. Indeed, the United States, Israel's most important ally, is now trying to reach a temporary ceasefire. The superpower also criticizes Israel for largely blocking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the International Court of Justice will look into the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Because how “temporary” is an occupation that began in 1967? If the judges rule that this is illegal, it will increase international pressure on Israel. Albanese will be following the case closely.