UN Special Rapporteur New Report Calls for ‘Dismantling of Israeli Settler-Colonial Occupation’

UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Palestine, Francesca Albanese. (Photo: Hatim Kaghat, via Le Soir, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, has submitted her much-anticipated report to the UN General Assembly, concluding that the realization of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination requires dismantling Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid regime. 

According to Albanese’s report, the scope of recent reports on Israeli apartheid “excludes the experience of Palestinian refugees.”

“The recognition of Israeli apartheid,” the report stresses, “must address the experience of the Palestinian people in its entirety and in their unity as a people, including those who were displaced, denationalized and dispossessed in 1947–1949”.

“For more than 55 years, the Israeli military occupation has prevented the realization of the Palestinian right to self-determination attempting to ‘de-Palestinianize’ (i.e., diminish the presence, identity and resilience of Palestinians in) the occupied Palestinian territory,” the report reads. 

“This behaviour, reminiscent of a colonial past that the international community firmly rejected decades ago, has become more entrenched with the acquiescence of the international community and failure to hold Israel accountable.”

The Israeli occupation, the report continues, “has become further entrenched with systematic and forced alteration by Israel of the legal status, character and demographic composition of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

In her report, Albanese calls 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. Given the settler-colonial nature of the occupation, its overall assessment must change, and so the deliberations of the international community.”

According to the report, 

“This starts with the recognition of the current reality in the occupied Palestinian territory as that of an intentionally acquisitive, segregationist and repressive regime, which has enabled, for 55 years, the disenfranchisement of the Palestinians, caging them into Bantustans of disrupted memories, broken ties and hopes, pursuing the ultimate goal to consolidate minority rule over a native majority on lands usurped through force, abusive and discriminatory policies and pillaging of resources.”

“Realizing the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination requires dismantling once and for all the Israeli settler-colonial occupation and its apartheid practices,” the report concludes, noting that “International law is very clear in this regard.”

“No solution can be just and fair, nor effective, unless it centres on decolonization, allowing the Palestinian people to freely determine their political will and pursue their social, economic and cultural development, alongside their Israeli neighbours.”

Albanese assumed the role of UN Special Rapporteur on May 1, following the end of Michael Lynk’s mandate. The highly-respected Italian international law expert is scheduled to present her report at Columbia University in New York on October 24 and at the UN General Assembly on October 27. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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