NewsU.N. Expert Report Accuses Israel Of Genocide In Gaza

U.N. Expert Report Accuses Israel Of Genocide In Gaza

A detailed human rights report by a United Nations expert argues there are “reasonable grounds” to believe Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza — a major accusation as the war approaches six months of heavy fighting.

Israel’s ongoing military offensive in Gaza qualifies as genocide on at least three grounds, according to the report by Francesca Albanese, the U.N. Human Rights Council special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories. Albanese published her report, titled “Anatomy of a Genocide,” on Tuesday before presenting it to the greater Human Rights Council.

“History teaches us that genocide is a process, not a single act. It starts with the dehumanization of a group as ‘other,’ and the denial of that group’s humanity, and ends with the destruction of the group in all or in part,” she said before the council. “The dehumanization of Palestinians as a group is the hallmark of their history — of ethnic cleansing, dispossession and apartheid.”

“Following nearly 6 months of unrelenting Israeli assault on occupied #Gaza, it is my solemn duty to report on the worst of what humanity is capable of & to present my findings: ‘the Anatomy of a Genocide’.”

— Special Rapporteur @FranceskAlbs at @UN Human Rights Council.#HRC55 pic.twitter.com/N4K1Fh1lTn

— United Nations Human Rights Council | #HRC55 (@UN_HRC) March 26, 2024

The latest hostilities began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking hundreds hostage. About half of the hostages were released during a temporary pause in fighting several months ago, and around 30 of the remaining captives are believed to be dead. Albanese’s report includes a condemnation of Hamas and its attack, and calls for the release of remaining hostages.

Since the October attack, Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians in the territory and wounded about double that number, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. That death toll does not include those still buried under the rubble of structures that have been razed by soldiers. Much of the Palestinian population has been displaced, with many on the brink of starvation, as Israel has restricted how much aid can enter the enclave.

“By analysing the patterns of violence and Israel’s policies in its onslaught in Gaza, this report concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met,” the report stated.

Israel, which did not attend the Human Rights Council session on Tuesday, rejected Albanese’s findings, saying the report’s use of the word genocide was “outrageous.”

“Israel utterly rejects the report. It is simply an extension of a campaign seeking to undermine the very establishment of the Jewish State,” the Israeli mission to Geneva said in a statement. “Instead of seeking the truth, this Special Rapporteur tries to fit weak arguments to her distorted and obscene inversion of reality. It is yet another stain on her biased mandate,

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