The appointment of a new Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Authority territories 'occupied' since 1967 – Francesca Albanese – serves to highlight the anti-Israel bias that dominates the United Nations (UN), to its eternal shame.
Albanese was appointed Special Rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2022 - taking up her role on 1 May 2022.
Albanese’s mandate as Special Rapporteur derives from Resolution 1993/2 passed by the UN Committee of Human Rights on 19 February 1993:
“To investigate Israel's violations of the principles and bases of international law, international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967;
Albanese is limited to only investigating Israel – not Hamas or the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Albanese is not a neutral appointment as her announcement makes clear:
“She has widely published on the legal situation in Israel and the State of Palestine and regularly teaches and lectures on international law and forced displacement at universities in Europe and the Arab region.”
Albanese will therefore not be examining or reporting on apartheid policies being implemented by the PLO and Hamas in Gaza and the 'West Bank' – where both the PLO and Hamas:are in charge and
- Keep 27 refugee camps open which house 800000 Palestinian Arabs: 600000 in 8 camps in Gaza administered and policed by Hamas and 200000 in 19 camps in the 'West Bank' administered and policed by the PLO - and
- Take no steps to close and resettle their camp populations within the villages and towns the PLO has controlled in the 'West Bank' since 1995 and Hamas has controlled in Gaza since 2007.
Israel’s attempts to close these camps and resettle their occupants had been denied under UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/39/99 (A-K) passed on 14 December 1984 in which the General Assembly:
- Under article E 1: “Reiterates its demand that Israel desist from the removal and resettlement of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip and from the destruction of their shelters”;
- Under article J 1: “Calls upon Israel to abandon its plans and to refrain from the removal, and from any action that may lead to the removal and resettlement, of Palestine refugees in the West Bank and from the destruction of their camps;”
Fast forward to 2022 and the UN still does not show the slightest interest in seeing these camps closed by their host authorities – the PLO in the 'West Bank' since 1995 and Hamas in Gaza since 2007.
In failing to call for the camps to be closed - the UN is condoning the continuation of those Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza and the 'West Bank' - claiming non-existent refugee status - being divided into two different groups living in two very different environments:
- One group: confined to these 27 camps suffering severe overcrowding problems, poor personal safety, high unemployment and poor infrastructure which are breeding grounds for planning and launching terrorist attacks on Israel and
- The other group: living normal lives in Gaza and 'West Bank' towns and villages
Even their classification as refugees is questionable as they continue to reside in the region in a different part of former Palestine to where they or their families previously lived.
The UN’s failure to condemn and demand an end to this apartheid being practised in Gaza and the 'West Bank' is disgusting.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ continuing silence makes a mockery of everything the UN claims it stands for.
Albanese will continue to pursue the UN’s anti-Israel agenda whilst 800000 Palestinian Arabs continue to suffer confinement in these degrading and dehumanizing camps.
Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades