Israel is considering blocking entry to Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Israeli media reported.
Albanese, who is planning on visiting Palestine in the coming days, was accused of taking part in an online conference in Gaza last week, which allegedly included members of the Palestinian political groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Israeli newspaper Israel National News reported that Albanese is “guilty of making several anti-Israel remarks, including a few new ones which we’re (sic) addressed to Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials who participated in a conference in Gaza last week.”
The conference, entitled, ’16 Years of Siege on Gaza: Impacts and Prospects’, aimed to “shed light on the repercussions of the siege on Gaza” and was organized by the Council on International Relations-Palestine.
Albanese’s remarks about Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestine were labeled by Israeli media as “anti-Israel”.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) October 20, 2022
In her recent report, which was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly last October, Albanese concluded that the realization of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination requires dismantling the Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid regime.
In the report, Albanese called for a paradigm shift to “overcome this situation”.
“This can only be resolved by respecting the cardinal norm of peoples’ right to self-determination and the recognition of the absolute illegality of the settler-colonialism and apartheid that the prolonged Israeli occupation has imposed on the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory,” the report read.
Albanese is not the first UN representative to be denied access to Palestine by Israeli authorities. Her predecessors Michael Lynk and Richard Falk, among others, were repeatedly prevented from visiting the occupied territories.
(The Palestine Chronicle)