The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN expert Albanese says Israel has committed genocide in Gaza, calls for arms embargo

United Nations expert Francesca Albanese told the UN Human Rights Council that it was her ‘solemn duty’ to ‘report on the worst of what humanity is capable of’.

A United Nations expert told the global body’s Human Rights Council on Tuesday that she believed Israel’s military campaign in Gaza since 7 October amounted to genocide and called on countries to immediately impose sanctions and an arms embargo.

Israel, which did not attend the session, rejected her findings.

“It is my solemn duty to report on the worst of what humanity is capable of and to present my findings,” Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, told the UN rights body in Geneva, presenting a report called “The Anatomy of a Genocide”.

“I find that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of the crime of genocide against Palestinians as a group in Gaza has been met,” she said, citing more than 30,000 Palestinians killed among other acts.

“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.

Israel’s diplomatic mission in Geneva claimed the war was against Hamas and not Palestinian civilians.

“Instead of seeking the truth, this special rapporteur tries to fit weak arguments to her distorted and obscene inversion of reality,” it said.

Albanese is one of dozens of independent human rights experts mandated by the United Nations to report and advise on specific themes and crises. Her views do not reflect those of the global body as a whole. –

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