Isolated, US & Israel see UN states back report on Israeli genocide in Gaza

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights Situation in the Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese [L], delivers her rapport during a session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva. (Photo/Reuters)

The UN expert who concluded Israel was committing acts of genocide in besieged Gaza has received broad support at the United Nations, with countries speaking up to back her and her report.

Francesca Albanese, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, told the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday that countries should impose an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel.

Expanding in person on her report released on Monday, Albanese said Israel was characterising the entire Palestinian population in besieged Gaza as "targetable, killable and destroyable" and had ostentatiously laid bare its "genocidal intent" to "rid Palestine of Palestinians".

Dozens of diplomats, mostly representing Arab and Muslim countries but also Latin America, took the floor on Tuesday to defend her mandate and her work.

Pakistan, speaking for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, backed her call for sanctions and an arms embargo.

"We commend your courage in documenting... acts amounting to genocide in Gaza," Islamabad's representative said.

"The occupation force's dangerous and ruthless push for a final solution to the Palestinian question is plain for all to see, as its forces encircle Rafah like vultures and its ravenous land grab continues unabated in the [occupied] West Bank."

Egypt, speaking for Arab group countries, affirmed their support for Albanese's mandate and said they were gravely concerned about Israel's "structured and systematic attack to make the Gaza Strip uninhabitable".

Qatar, on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, thanked Albanese for her report and demanded the international community "put an end to the genocide being perpetrated by the Israeli war machinery".

'Erasure of native Palestinians'

In her speech, Albanese told the top UN rights body that Israel had "destroyed Gaza".

"When genocidal intent is so conspicuous, so ostentatious, as it is in Gaza, we cannot avert our eyes: we must confront genocide, we must prevent it, and we must punish it," she said.

"The genocide in Gaza is the most extreme stage of a long-standing settler-colonial process of erasure of the native Palestinians."

She said the threshold indicating the commission of genocide has been met.

"I implore member states to abide by their obligations, which start with imposing an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel and so ensure that the future does not continue to repeat itself," she said, prompting a burst of applause.

In response, Russia said it was "horrified" by Israel's military operation that had seen "civilian infrastructure targeted", while China said it was ready to facilitate peace talks.

The European Union called for "proper and independent investigations on all allegations", and while appalled by the civilian death toll, it recognised Israel's right to self-defence.

US, Israel's response

Albanese's speech concluded to applause in the chamber. Israel was not present, nor was its chief ally, the United States.

Israel has long been harshly critical of Albanese and, on Monday, immediately rejected her report as an "obscene inversion of reality".

The United States called her mandate "biased against Israel".

On Tuesday, at the rights council, the only firm support for such positions came from non-governmental organisations.

The World Jewish Congress said Albanese's mandate "seeks to entrench divisions and a one-sided narrative instead of pursuing a balanced and inclusive approach".

The European Union of Jewish Students said Albanese's "resignation is imperative" for the council to retain any credibility on issues concerning Israel and Palestine.


Source: TRT