HRC 55 Interactive Dialogue SR on oPt - 26 March 2024
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HRC 55 Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on oPt -26 March 2024

  • Wide shot of the conference room 
  • Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. Please see PDF attached for the statement -  please check against delivery
  • Empty chair of Israel at the Human Rights Council
  • Ibrahim Khraishi, Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in Geneva. Please see PDF attached for the statement (in Arabic only) -  please check against delivery

55th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council - Agenda item 7: Human rights in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

Interactive dialogue:  Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Ms. Francesca Albanese.

Statement of Ibrahim Khraishi, Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in Geneva.


Excellencies distinguished delegates.
I declare open agenda Item seven entitled the human rights
situation in Palestine
and the other occupied Arab territories.
We will now proceed with the interactive
dialogue with the special rapporteur on the situation
of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied
since 1967.
As usual,
I am announcing that the list of speakers will close in 15 minutes.
I now give you the floor. Ms Francisca Albanis
to present your report.
it is with the he the heaviest heart that I appear before you today
to deliver my fourth report as the
special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory
following nearly six months of unrelenting Israeli assault on occupied Gaza.
It is my solemn duty to report on the worst of what humanity is capable of
and to present my finding
the anatomy of a genocide.
History teaches us that genocide is a process, not a single act.
It starts with the dehumanisation 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
the dehumanisation of Palestinians as the group as a group
is the hallmark of their history of ethnic cleansing,
dispossession and apartheid.
In the words of Edward
Palestinians were made orphans of a homeland
by the creation of the state of Israel and its
continuous policies intended to erase their presence from their land.
Genocide is defined in international law
as specific sets of acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part
a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
As such,
it is often referred to as the crime of crimes
due to its complexity and because of the challenge of proving the specific intent,
as the convention requires.
And yet this complexity is not about the
creation of a hierarchy among atrocity crimes.
It's rather a reflection of a different nature and scale.
The heightened
threshold for intent,
namely to destroy a group as prescribed by Article two of the Genocide Convention,
must be proven directly or inferred from facts
which admit of no other reasonable inference.
But when genocidal intent is so conspicuous, so ostentatious as it is in Gaza,
we cannot avert our eyes. We must confront genocide,
we must prevent it,
and we must punish it.
The catastrophic situation I investigated is known
as it has been broadcast to the world in real time by its victims.
Astoundingly, rather than halting its momentum, a
minority of powerful member states have provided military,
economic and political support for the atrocity,
compounding the devastation it has wrought for the Palestinians
in this assault,
the sixth and most egregious in 16 years, Israel has killed
more than 30,000 Palestinians, including
13,000 Children more than the Children killed in
all conflicts worldwide in four previous years.
Journalists, doctors, nurses, artists, academics, engineers,
scientists and their family members.
whole society has been targeted.
A further 12,000 Palestinians are reported missing. Most presume that
some some 71,000 Palestinians are reported missing.
are injured,
most with life changing wounds made worse by the decimation of
the health care system and overwhelming unsanitary conditions created in Gaza.
In the first two weeks, Israel prevented all humanitarian aid from entering Gaza,
and the ensuing months it has imposed extreme restrictions on water, food,
electricity and fuel.
Israel has blocked the entry of medical supplies, including anaesthetics,
incubators and even baby formula
convoys have hardly reached northern Gaza.
The deliberate policy has induced to rapid
and sustain severe food insecurity in the
entire population, with those trapped in the north forced to eat
animal feed and grass.
The occupying power has also undermined UNRWA,
the main lifeline to Palestinians in Gaza.
Growing numbers of Palestinians
are dying of starvation as we speak,
and the hostages and their families have
also not escaped these devastating circumstances.
The collective scars of those who survive are certain to last generations. In
the initial weeks of the assault,
Israeli forces killed around 250 Palestinians
daily through an apocalyptic arsenal of
weaponry on one of the most densely populated places on earth.
25,000 tonnes of explosives equivalent to two nuclear bombs,
unguided munitions and hundreds of £2000 bunker
busters were used to level entire neighbourhoods.
The ground offensive changed the pattern, but not the scale of destruction.
In less than six months, Israel has destroyed Gaza,
or severely damaging almost all civilian infrastructure and agricultural land,
most of homes, health care facilities, telecommunication infrastructure,
every university, most educational facilities, municipal services,
mosques and churches,
and innumerable cultural heritage sites
which are integral
to the social fabric of Palestine.
Israeli soldiers have published footage boasting about the killing of families,
mothers, Children,
the bombing of homes, mosques and schools.
Self incriminating videos show them sadistically
mocking and humiliating their Palestinian victims
not only by violating their physical integrity and right to life,
but also their dignity, their most intimate possessions and spaces
that the soldiers have entered and looted and
by desecrating cemeteries and places of worship.
When the ground offensive started,
the number of daily casualties seemed to reduce.
But in fact, the level of atrocities, increased
mass disappearance and arbitrary detentions.
Widespread and systematic torture and inhumane treatment add
to the experience of endless death and loss.
Desperate people had to search through rubble with their bare
hands. Many have been unable to bury and grieve loved ones.
These acts of genocide have been motivated by vehement
anti Palestinian discourse,
which characterises the entire Palestinian people in Gaza
as enemies to be eradicated or forcibly removed.
This rhetoric has been pervasive across all segments of Israeli society.
That Israeli high ranking officials with command
authority routinely called on soldiers to annihilate
the people of Gaza is compelling evidence
of explicit and public incitement to commit genocide
Further indicates that this genocide and incitement has been
internalised and acted upon by soldiers on the ground.
One of my key findings is that Israel's executive and military
leadership and soldiers have intentionally distorted
rules of international humanitarian law,
proportionality and precaution in an attempt to
legitimise genocidal violence against the Palestinian people
by deliberately stretching the definitions of human shield, evacuation orders,
warnings, safe zones, collateral damage and medical protection,
Israel has used their protective function as humanitarian camouflage
with the effect of concealing patterns of conduct from
which the only inference can reasonably be drawn.
Is a state policy of genocidal violence against the Palestinians
blurring the distinction between protected civilians or civilian
infrastructure and combatants or legitimate military targets,
Israel has effectively characterised the whole civilian population
in Gaza as human shields or terrorist accomplices.
As a matter of legal policy.
Those who manage to evacuate to areas that Israel defined
as safe humanitarian zones have been met with further attacks,
their deaths and injuries justified as collateral damage.
By making repeated claims which have been systematically discredited,
that Hamas used hospitals as operation centres,
Israel appears to be operating on the premises on the
premise that if you tell a lie long enough,
people will believe it.
Israel has used the camouflage of humanitarian law to characterise the entire
Palestinian people and life sustaining and
life saving infrastructure of Gaza as target
killable destroy.
Israel has attempted to legitimise, for example,
the devastation of Gaza's medical infrastructure,
which has led to potentially thousands of additional deaths,
life changing injuries and trauma
has been distorted to justify a war of annihilation.
In light of this,
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.
Israel has committed three acts of genocide with the requisite intent causing
serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,
deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to
bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,
and imposing measures intended to prevent birth within the group.
The genocide in Gaza is the most extreme stage of a
long standing settler colonial process over Asia of the native Palestinians.
For over 76 years,
this process has oppressed the Palestinians as a people in every way imaginable,
crushing their inalienable right to self determination. Demographically,
economically, territorially, culturally and politically,
Israel has attempted to displace them,
expropriate their land and other resources, and ultimately replace them.
The colonial amnesia of the West
has Condoned Israel's colonial settler project,
from the violent history of the very birth of
the state of Israel to its oppressive occupation.
Since 1967 the crippling closure of Gaza since
1993 and its military assaults on Gaza since
the world now sees the bitter fruit of the impunity
afforded to Israel.
This was a tragedy foretold.
While the International Criminal Court will have to deliberate
the international,
the International Court of Justice will have to deliberate.
The International Criminal Court will have to investigate.
It is my responsibility to remind you
that the Genocide Convention includes a UK
against Norm and their
government obligation to prevent the Commission of genocide a
reality the International Court of Justice recognised
as plausible exactly two months ago.
The time for states to act was then,
and as they did not, the time is now. In
this darkest hour,
the international community cannot continue to ignore
that It is Israel's project to rid Palestine
of Palestinians in defiance of international law and
the world's failure to call Israel to account
that has led to genocide laid bare in Gaza.
Denial of the reality and the
continuation of Israel's impunity and exceptionalism
is no longer viable,
especially in light of yesterday's binding Security Council resolution.
I implore member states to abide by their obligations which
start with imposing an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel,
and so ensure that the future
does not continue
to repeat itself.
Thank you.
thank you.
I now give the floor
according to our practise, we will start by hearing from
the delegations of the country's consent.
It seems that the delegation of Israel is not in the room.
Thus I will give the floor to the
distinguished representative of the State of Palestine.
You have five minutes, Your Excellency.
Thank you, Mr President.
At the outset, I would like to express our thanks and gratitude
to Madame Special Rapporteur
Albanese for this very important and professional report.
We are surprised of the delay
in publishing it until yesterday by Ohh.
This report refers to a number of of information evidence
and legal references on the occupying powers perpetrating the crime
of genocide by giving the historic context of this crime
that is inherent to the settler colonial project in Palestine,
at this stage of the foundation of Israel. As a Jewish state,
we saw the
the displacement and attempts to erase
the identity of the
original non Jewish people of Palestine since the beginning of last century.
The report refers to the declarations of Joseph
Weitz in 1940.
He is the chair of the settlement section of the Jewish National Fund, he said.
There is no place for two people on this land.
The one and only solution is a Palestine without Arabs.
The report also referred
to the policy of ethnic cleansing in 1947 1940
the destruction of 500 villages and Palestinian cities, the killing
of tens of thousands and the perpetration of barbaric acts
of rape and abuse that was documented by the gangs of
Haganah and others,
as well as the forcible expulsion of 900,000
occupying forces continue to perpetrate the
ugliest policies of discrimination and racism against
the Palestinian people.
They have violated all laws and norms
and international decisions continue to kill abuse,
theft, building of settlements, burning
of infrastructure, trees, mosques, et cetera.
It has conducted continuous aggressions against Gaza under siege since 18 years.
This is the sixth aggression against Gaza, the most barbaric
after the seventh of October attack.
Under the pretext of fighting Hamas,
they have killed over 30 to 300
civilians, including over 30
1000 Children,
8800 women.
There are over 8000 missing under the rubble.
It was clear to all since 9 October when the criminal, the Israeli minister of war,
said he would prohibit the entry of water, electricity, food and fuel together.
He described the Palestinian people
as human animals.
This is a clear declaration of intent of perpetrating a war crime,
a crime against humanity and genocide.
Over 2 million Palestinians were displaced.
Half the housing units were destroyed,
including hospitals, schools, mosques,
churches, sanitation, communications, roads
and a policy of starvation is being used as a
tool of war while preventing the entry of assistance and relief
and the continuing incitement to
murder and displacement by the leaders of murder and crimes.
Israel continues its barbaric aggression, refusing to abide by the
decision of last January
to take provisional measures in order
to prevent the crime of genocide. It has refused to abide by
GA resolutions and Security Council resolutions,
the one that was adopted yesterday.
And this means
that all recommendations in the report
of the special rapporteur should be implemented
and practical measures should be taken to prevent the export of weapons
to boycott Israel commercially and politically
and to implement mechanisms of accountability.
please finish your statements as the President.
Microphone to the speaker.
Thank you, Mr Chair.
Thank you.
I give the floor to the Commissioner General of
the Independent Commission for Human Rights of Palestine.
Three minutes.
Thank you, Mr Chairman I am Allah Adaw
on behalf of