Palestinians are in grave danger of “mass ethnic cleansing” by Israel, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory said and called on the international community to urgently mediate a ceasefire.
“Israel has already carried out mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians under the fog of war,” said Francesca Albanese. “Again, in the name of self-defense, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing.”
The UN official said: “The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel has reached fever pitch. The United Nations and its Member States must intensify efforts to mediate an immediate ceasefire between the parties, before we reach a point of no return.”
She added: “The international community has the responsibility to prevent and protect populations from atrocity crimes. Accountability for international crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces and Hamas must also be immediately pursued.”
Albanese stressed: “There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale.”
“Any continued military operations by Israel have gone well beyond the limits of international law. The international community must stop these egregious violations of international law now, before tragic history is repeated,” the UN expert stated.
Israel has pledged to wipe out Hamas in retaliation for the militant group’s unprecedented incursion into Israeli towns backed up with a barrage of rockets. Israel responded to the surprise attack with a total siege around the Gaza Strip and bombarded the enclave with an unparalleled barrage of air strikes.
Thousands have died and scores more were injured among Palestinians and Israelis. According to UN data, since October 7, 4,200 people were killed, over one million people displaced, and large areas in the Gaza Strip reduced to rubble.