Israel bans entry of UN special rapporteur for Palestinians
Israel accuses Francesca Albanese of justifying Hamas attack on Oct. 7
By Anadolu staff
JERUSALEM (AA) — Israel on Monday banned the entry of UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinians Francesca Albanese.
"The era of Jews being silent is over," Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel said in a joint statement.
"If the UN wants to return to being a relevant body, its leaders must publicly disavow the anti-Semitic words of the 'Special Envoy' – and fire her permanently," they said.
Israeli officials accuse the UN rapporteur of justifying an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas after writing a post on X.
"The victims of 7/10 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel's oppression," she wrote in response to a Le Monde post reporting on French President Emmanuel Macron honoring Israelis killed in the Hamas attack.
"The 'greatest anti-Semitic massacre of our century'? No, Mr. Emmanuel Macron. The victims of 7/10 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel's oppression. France & the international community did nothing to prevent it. My respects to the victims," she added.
Israel's ban on Albanese follows an earlier decision in December 2023 to revoke the residence visa of UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings.
It also comes as Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, killing at least 28,340 people and injuring 67,984 others, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.
The Israeli onslaught has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.
In late 2023, South Africa filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Israel of failing to uphold its commitments under the 1948 Genocide Convention.
In its interim ruling in January, the UN court ruled that South Africa’s claims are plausible. It ordered provisional measures for Israel's government to desist from genocidal acts, and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.
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