At a moment of increased violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, with the new Israeli government threatening even further annexation, the international community must take firm action to protect the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, today said Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
“The wave of deadly violence sweeping through the occupied West Bank since the beginning of this year is the inexorable consequence of an acquisitive and repressive occupation with no end in sight, and the culture of lawlessness and impunity Israel has nurtured and enjoyed,” said Albanese.
“Every loss of life, whether Palestinian or Israeli, is a tragic reminder of the price people pay for not addressing pervasive injustice and its root causes,” the Special Rapporteur said.
She continued, “Israel, emboldened by a lack of meaningful intervention, has consolidated its acquisitive and repressive occupation, with Member States offering little more than symbolic condemnation, humanitarians providing band-aid aid, and legal scholars entangled in theoretical debates,” Albanese said.
The Special Rapporteur urged the UN to move beyond simply counting casualties and calling for restraint. “The organisation cannot indulge in the condescending acceptance of an irresolvable “conflict” and the myth of conflicting narratives, and in urging the ‘parties’ to ‘de-escalate tensions’ and ‘resume negotiations’,” Albanese said. “In reality, there are no equal parties nor a proper ‘conflict,’ but rather an oppressive regime that threatens the right of an entire people to exist.”
“Tolerating annexation would legitimise aggression, bringing international law back almost a century: this is the reality the international community must stop immediately and reverse.”
The expert said, “To maintain its credibility and purpose, the UN must acknowledge that conflicting narratives and historical facts must be resolved through the lens of legality and justice, and work effectively to oppose any forms of annexation of occupied territory, realise the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and terminate the apartheid regime Israel is enforcing upon them.”