update deskIsrael at War

UN official accused of Jew-hatred claims Israel may be committing ‘genocide’

Israel's diplomatic mission in Geneva slammed Francesca Albanese's "outrageous accusations" as an "obscene inversion of reality."

Francesca Albanese, U.N. special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, speaks at a U.N. press conference in October 2023. Source: YouTube/United Nations.
Francesca Albanese, U.N. special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, speaks at a U.N. press conference in October 2023. Source: YouTube/United Nations.

A United Nations rapporteur who has a long history of antisemitic comments claimed on Monday there were “reasonable grounds” to determine that Israel has committed “genocide” in its war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

Francesca Albanese, the U.N. special rapporteur on rights in the Palestinian territories, said the Israel Defense Forces may have violated three of the five acts listed under the U.N. Genocide Convention.

“The overwhelming nature and scale of Israel’s assault on Gaza and the destructive conditions of life it has inflicted reveal an intent to physically destroy Palestinians as a group,” Albanese said in a report cited by AFP.

The report also claims that the IDF considers all Palestinians and their infrastructure “as ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist-supporting,” thus transforming everything and everyone into either a target or collateral damage.”

Albanese is slated to present her findings to the Human Rights Council (HRC) on Tuesday.

In response, Israel’s diplomatic mission in Geneva slammed Albanese’s “outrageous accusations” as an “obscene inversion of reality” and stressed that Jerusalem “utterly rejects the report,” which it said was “an extension of a campaign seeking to undermine the very establishment of the Jewish state.”

Albanese, who was appointed by the HRC, said she had identified “reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of…acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza has been met.”

The report, titled “Anatomy of a Genocide,” listed those acts as “killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to the group’s members; and deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” AFP reported.

On Monday, a U.S. official told the outlet the report was “biased against Israel” and insisted Washington has “no reason to believe Israel has committed acts of genocide in Gaza.”

Last month, Jerusalem denied an entry visa to Albanese, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz calling on U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “unequivocally renounce [her] antisemitic statements…and remove her from her position immediately.”

He added: “Barring her entry to Israel will serve as a stark reminder of the atrocities committed by Hamas, including the ruthless targeting of innocents.”

The move came after Albanese blamed Israeli “oppression” for Hamas’s slaughter of Jews on Oct. 7.

Albanese has frequently courted controversy by singling out Israel for blame, and has made frequent comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.

When JNS asked Albanese in December whether Hamas was justified in invading Israel and killing Israeli security personnel, she said, “Why is this so unbelievable? You seem to be puzzled by this. What is the right to resist?”

She also accused Israel of weaponizing antisemitism to silence her and other critics of Israel.

“Israel occupies the Palestinian territory illegally, continuing to colonize the land, to brutalize the people, to let its armed settlers go around and terrorize everyone,” Albanese told JNS. “The Palestinians have no recourse to justice, because the Israeli army is not there to protect the Palestinians. It is there to protect the settlers, who are illegal.”

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