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UN rapporteur calls for sanctions, cutting of ties with Israel

UN rapporteur urges states to cut ties, impose sanctions on Israel
2 min read
25 May, 2024
UN expert Francesca Albanese is calling for sanctions on Israel until it complies with the ICJ's ruling to halt its Rafah offensive.
Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, is calling for sanctions against Israel [GETTY]

The UN's special rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories has called for sanctions on Israel after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the state to halt its offensive on Rafah.

Francesca Albanese urged member states to impose sanctions, an arms embargo, and suspend diplomatic and political relations with Israel until it ceases its assault.

"Be sure: Israel will not stop this madness until WE make it stop," Albanese said on X, noting that Israel is intensifying its attacks on Rafah.

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The ICJ ordered Israel to "immediately halt" its military offensive on Rafah, where almost 800,000 have fled in the last two weeks since Israel's invasion.

The ruling also ordered Israel to open the Rafah crossing for the "unhindered" provision of humanitarian aid.

While some states have withheld arms sales to Israel and sanctioned extremist Israeli settlers, many have been calling for economic sanctions on the state.

The US, Israel's key ally, has opposed a full scale invasion of Rafah and have threatened to suspend arms from Israel, however has remained quiet since the ICJ's ruling. The UK has criticised the ruling, claiming it would "strengthen Hamas".

Albanese has been reporting on the human rights situation in Palestine for the UN since 2022. She published a report concluding there were "reasonable grounds" to determine that Israel has committed several acts of "genocide" in its war in Gaza, also evoking "ethnic cleansing".

"The overwhelming nature and scale of Israel's assault on Gaza and the destructive conditions of life it has inflicted reveal an intent to physically destroy Palestinians as a group," she said in a report, which Israel immediately rejected as an "obscene inversion of reality".

Israeli officials have targeted Albanese over her work, with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying in February that he had banned her from entry to Israel.

Israel has prevented the entry of UN rapporteurs, including Albanese, to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since 2008.