The appointment of a new Special Rapporteur, Francesca Albanese, on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 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 currently:
- 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;"
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