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GAZA GENOCIDE: Top UN official condemns int’l community for being ‘completely paralyzed’ over Israeli ‘war crimes’, possible genocide

By Anwarulhaq Baig

New Delhi, Nov. 16
Expressing grave concern about the potential genocide against Palestinians, a top UN official has harshly criticized the international community, including Western nations, for its failure to prevent Israel from committing ‘war crimes’ in Gaza.”

While addressing media persons and the general public on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Canberra, Australia, UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Ms Francesca Albanese stated,

“In the face of all this, the international community is almost completely paralyzed,’ and she added, “I am being generous when I say the UN is experiencing its most epic political and humanitarian failure since its creation.”

According to her, the Palestinians face their most significant existential threat and raise the prospect of the wholesale destruction of Gaza.

Accusing Western nations, including Australia, of “muttering” condemnation of Israel, Ms Albanese highlighted the ongoing situation in Gaza, drawing parallels between the current Israeli bombardment and the displacement of Palestinians in 1948, referred to as the ‘Nakba’ or catastrophe. She said, “Israel is carrying out a televised repeat of the 1948 ‘Nakba’ on our watch and the United Nations is experiencing its most epic political and humanitarian failure since its creation.”

She urged for a bold stance, emphasizing the need for an urgent ceasefire, the return of hostages, and the setting up of humanitarian corridors.

Denouncing the Israeli aggression in Gaza, in which over 11,500 people, including more than 4,500 children, have been killed so far, and rejecting the Jewish state’s justification for the right to retaliate, Ms. Albanese asserted that, as an occupying state, Israel could not claim the right of ‘self-defense’ against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip under international law.

The Italian international lawyer and academic, who took charge in 2022 as the first woman to hold this UN post, clarified that the right to self-defense is invoked when a state is threatened by another state.

“In this case, Israel, it does not claim to have been threatened by another state. Instead, it faces threats from an armed group within an occupied territory,” she added.

Warning Israel against waging a war on Gaza because according to international laws, the besieged Strip is not a standalone entity but a part of the occupied territory, she underlined that Israel could not claim the right of self-defense against a threat emanating from the territory it occupied – a territory that was kept under belligerent occupation.

Ms. Albanese emphasized that the crimes against humanity in Gaza, which include the bombing of schools once filled with students, now resting in cemeteries or under the rubble, should be brought to international attention.

She added, “Exposing the population to the unspeakable risk of war crimes and crimes against humanity should be accounted for.”

Slamming the mainstream international media for being manipulative and contributing to the dehumanization of Palestinians, the UN official said, “In international media there is a tendency to talk of Palestinian deaths as a tragedy while Israeli deaths as crimes.”

Calling for a shift in media discourse to re-humanize the narrative surrounding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, she said, “Journalists have a great deal of homework” to do on their reportage of the crisis in Gaza.”

Criticizing the media for focusing on non-important issues, and urging journalists to focus on the significant loss of life in Gaza Ms. Albanese said, ‘11,000 Palestinians have been killed… this is not discussed. They are killed, blamed, and smeared when they try to speak out. It’s important to talk about the two-state solution, but what about the 11,000 people killed?”

Ms. Albanese said, “Over one million Palestinians, including children as young as 12 years old, have been arrested and detained since 1967.” No one has been victimised by Israel settler colonial rule more than Palestinian children.”

“It is the Palestinian children who are most disproportionately impacted,” she added

Not solely attributing the present conflict to Hamas’ attacks on Israel last month, Ms. Albanese emphasized that war crimes were already being committed before October 7. She commented that Palestinians had been subjected to ‘decades’ of war crimes and a ‘violent structure of dispossession, confiscation of land, and forcible displacement.

Ms. Albanese said, “This is what I call amnesia and myopia and living in an alternative reality. Because again, before the 7 October, there was already plenty of evidence of violations of international law.”

She lamented that, in the last 38 days, Israel had killed over 11000 people, including 4,506 children, and Gaza health officials were no longer able to keep count of the dead.

Calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, which she declared as apartheid by default, Ms. Albanese asserted that when such actions are widespread and systemic, they are not just war crimes but crimes against humanity.

She added, “2700 Palestinians as we speak are still under rubble, gasping for air in need of rescue, medical attention or burial. They will likely perish as there are no means to rescue them. My predecessors and now myself have said the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are becoming a powder keg. It will explode. It has exploded.”

Ms. Albanese’s statements have sparked controversy, especially in Australia, where she was not visiting in her official capacity because she was invited by the Australian Palestine Advocacy Network. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has not met with her, also prompting criticism. Australian Senator Mehreen Faruqi said on X, “What is Minister Penny Wong afraid of? Hearing the truth about Israel’s war crimes?”

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