Impose arms embargo & sanctions on Israel! – UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese

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Thirteen thousand children have been killed in Gaza in the last six months said Francesca Albanese yesterday

UNITED Nations Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese called on UN member states to impose an international arms embargo and sanctions on Israel yesterday afternoon.

Speaking at the UN HQ in New York, Albanese declared: ‘Following nearly six months of unrelenting Israeli assault on occupied Gaza, it is my solemn duty to report on the worst of what humanity is capable of and to present my findings, The Anatomy of a Genocide.’

She continued: ‘History teaches us that genocide is a process, not a single act. It starts with the dehumanisation of Gaza and the denial of that group’s humanity and ends with the destruction of that group in all or in part.’

She went on: ‘Israel has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians including 13,000 children, more than the children killed in all conflicts worldwide in four previous years.

‘Journalists, doctors, nurses, artists, academics, engineers, scientists and their family members – a whole society has been targeted.

‘A further 12,000 Palestinians are reported missing, most presumed dead. Some 71,000 are injured, most with life-changing wounds, made worse by the decimation of the healthcare system.’

She continued: ‘The occupying power has also undermined UNRWA, the main lifeline to Palestinians in Gaza. Growing numbers of Palestinians are dying of starvation as we speak.’

She continued: ‘In the initial weeks of the assault Israeli forces killed around 250 Palestinians daily through an apocalyptic arsenal of weaponry on one of the most densely populated places on Earth.

‘25,000 tonnes of explosives, equivalent to two nuclear bombs, unguided munitions and hundreds of 2,000lb bunker busters were used to level entire neighbourhoods. The ground offensive changed the pattern but not the scale of the destruction.

‘In less than six months Israel has destroyed Gaza, erasing or severely damaging all the civilian infrastructure and agricultural land, most of homes, healthcare facilities, telecommunication infrastructure, every university, most education facilities, municipal services and innumerable cultural heritage sites which are integral to the social fabric of Palestine.’

She continued to detail how ‘Israeli soldiers have published footage boasting about their killing of families, mothers, children, the bombing of homes, mosques and schools.

‘Such incriminating videos show them sadistically mocking and humiliating their Palestinian victims, not only by violating their physical integrity and right to life, but also their dignity, their most intimate possessions and spaces that the soldiers have entered and looted.’

She went on to accuse Israel of having ‘a state policy of genocidal violence against Palestinians’. She said: ‘Israel has effectively characterised the whole civilian population in Gaza as “human shield” or “terrorist accomplices” as a matter of legal policy.’

She went on: ‘By making repeated claims which have been systematically discredited that Hamas used hospitals as “Operation Centres” Israel appears to be operating on the premise that if you tell a lie long enough people will believe it.’

She declared: ‘The genocide in Gaza is the most extreme stage of a longstanding settler/colonial process of erasure of the nation of Palestinians. For over 76 years this process has oppressed the Palestinians as a people in every way imaginable, crushing their inalienable right to self-determination demographically, economically, territorially, culturally and politically.’

She concluded: ‘Denial of the reality and the continuation of Israel’s impunity and exceptionalism is no longer viable.

‘Especially in the light of yesterday’s binding Security Council resolution, 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. Thank you.’

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