UN’s Palestine rapporteur ‘unfazed’ by Israeli campaigns to have her sacked

UN’s Palestine rapporteur ‘unfazed’ by Israeli campaigns to have her sacked
UN Palestine rights expert Francesca Albanese expressed her defiance as an Israeli legal NGO pushed for her removal from her post.
2 min read
14 April, 2023
Francesca Albanese (second from right) was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory last year [Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

UN Palestine rights expert Francesca Albanese remained defiant on Thursday after the Israeli NGO, the International Legal Forum, appeared to call for her to be sacked for a tweet condemning Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territory.

"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 rapporteur on the rights situation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip had tweeted on the weekend.

After days of criticism from Israeli organisations, Albanese responded on Thursday by saying she will continue her mission of bringing justice for the oppressed.

"Unfazed by this campaign against me for stating basic int'l law principles, nor the immorality of some of its masterminds. What goes around comes around," she tweeted.

"I can't be distracted. I must stay focused on my human rights work & the people under occupation, besieged & repressed."

Albanese's criticism of Israel came as it stepped up its violence towards Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israeli police have stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem with increased frequency since Ramadan began on 23 March.

In an especially brutal raid last Tuesday, police injured and arrested hundreds of worshippers at the compound. In her condemnation of that attack, Albanese said Israeli forces had used "blatantly excessive and unjustified force" against worshippers.

The Israeli military also struck the besieged Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon last week after rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militant groups there.

Israel continued its deadly raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem that have killed 96 Palestinians since the start of 2023.

The Palestinian Authority earlier this week condemned the "malicious campaigns" to have Albanese fired.