Israel has continued to prevent the entry of UN rapporteurs to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since 2008, the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, said.
This came in a post by the UN rapporteur on X in response to a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, banning Albanese from entering Israel.
Albanese pointed out that Israel’s decision to deny her entry is not a new matter, saying, “BREAKING: Israel’s “denying me entry” is not news: Israel has denied entry to ALL Special Rapporteurs/oPt since 2008!”
“This must not become a distraction from Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, which are taking a new level of horror with the bombing of people in ‘safe areas’ in #Rafah.”
BREAKING: Israel's "denying me entry" is not news: Israel has denied entry to ALL Special Rapporteurs/oPt since 2008!
This must not become a distraction from Israel's atrocities in Gaza, which are taking a new level of horror with the bombing of people in 'safe areas' in #Rafah.
— Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur oPt (@FranceskAlbs) February 12, 2024
The Israeli decision prevents Albanese from entering all of the occupied Palestinian territories.
On Sunday evening, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority said that the Israeli army had approved a plan to launch a ground operation in Rafah, which is home to more than half of the two million displaced Palestinians in Gaza.
On Sunday night, flouting the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel launched an air campaign on Rafah, killing more than 65 Palestinians. The city had been declared a “safe zone” by occupation forces and over a million Palestinians had taken shelter there after being forced out of their homes in the northern areas of the Strip since 7 October.
The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.