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

Israel's actions in Gaza meet the legal conditions for genocide, according to Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories. Albanese presented her report, 'Anatomy of a Genocide', to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on 26 march 2024. The report echoes the findings of the International Court of Justice, which also agreed that Israel's actions met the conditions for genocide, and it comes one day after the UN Security Council voted for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

March 26, 2024 at 2:25 pm

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

“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,” Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Territories, told the UN rights body in Geneva.

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

“Instead of seeking the truth, this Special Rapporteur tries to fit weak arguments to her distorted and obscene inversion of reality,” its diplomatic mission in Geneva said, adding that its war was against Hamas and not Palestinian civilians.

In spite of its claims, over 70 per cent of the victims of Israel’s bombing campaign have been women and children, with civilians rounded up, stripped and disappeared from across the Strip. Over the past week there have been numerous reports of rape of Palestinian women by Israeli occupation soldiers, many in front of their husbands and brothers.

Last week, Albanese took to X to highlight the situation in Gaza, saying: “The highest number of people ever recorded as facing human-made famine, along with mass killings, constant harm & creation of conditions that gut life of humanity has a name: Genocide.”

Read: UN rapporteur: ‘Israel’s crimes in Gaza may occupy ICC for 50 years’