PA decries 'malicious campaigns' against UN Palestine rights expert Francesca Albanese
The Palestinian Authority decried "malicious campaigns" against a UN expert on human rights in occupied Palestinian Territory on Tuesday, expressing disappointment at the international community's "silence".
Francesca Albanese, the rapporteur on the rights situation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, has come under fire from Israel and its supporters since her appointment last year.
Recently, an Israel-based legal group called for her to be sacked after she tweeted on Saturday: "Israel has a right to defend itself, but can't claim it when it comes to the people it oppresses/whose lands it colonises."
"The State of Palestine expresses disappointment at the silence of the international community over the malicious campaigns against the United Nations and its personnel, including [Albanese], waged by Israel & its apologists", the foreign ministry said.
"To be clear, Israel is in the dock, not the UN special rapporteur," the ministry added in its Twitter statement.
"Israel's purpose [with] this attack is to deflect the attention from its crimes and the rapporteur from fulfilling her mandate, undermining any accountability for its crimes.
"The more Israel's criminality is exposed the more aggressive it will get in smearing and delegitimising the UN and anyone calling for adherence with international law and human rights."
Albanese was praised by Palestinian and international rights groups last year for her first report as a UN special rapporteur, presented to the General Assembly in October, which they said presents the reality of the Israeli occupation.
"The State of Palestine commends the efforts of [Albanese] and all other human rights experts and defenders for upholding their mandates and advancing accountability for the sake of peace and justice," the foreign ministry said.
The statement urged UN member states to protect those holding human rights mandates and rights defenders from "Israeli occupation intimidation and attacks".
The UN came under attack by supporters of Israel for asking for an opinion from the ICJ on the occupation of the Palestinian Territory.