Israel should not have retaliated after Hamas launched a wave of attacks and instead should have called in the United Nations to ‘demilitarise’ the terror organisation, a UN expert has claimed.
Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territory, appeared on The Project on Wednesday evening where she was grilled by the hosts.
Ms Albanese, a 46-year-old human rights lawyer, claimed that Israel had no right to claim self-defence because Gaza is under its ‘belligerent occupation’.
‘It could have relied on the United Nations to demilitarise Hamas if this was the target,’ Ms Albanese said.
Host Waleed Aly appeared momentarily stunned by the suggestion, before asking: ‘To be clear, are you saying Israel should have asked the United Nations to send in its own force to demilitarise Gaza and to remove the military capacity from Hamas, and the United Nations would have undertaken that task?’
Francesca Albanese (pictured), the UN Special Rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territory, appeared on The Project on Wednesday evening where she was grilled by the hosts.
Ms Albanese likened the situation to the Bataclan terror attacks in Paris in 2015, arguing that the French state did not launch bombs on Belgium when it was discovered the terrorist cell had been based in Brussels.
Instead, she claimed, they used law enforcement agencies to route out the masterminds.
However, she did finally acknowledge the incredulity in Aly’s voice.
‘You have a legitimate question there, would have the United Nations agreed?’, she said.
‘The thing is that it has never been asked but I think it would have because its the UN responsibility to ensure the maintenance of peace and security.’
She then called for a peace-keeping operation in Gaza with Israeli airstrikes killing 11,000 Palestinians.
‘It might help dilute tension and the further loss of life,’ Ms Albanese said.
Ms Albanese, a human rights lawyer, claimed that Israel had no right to claim self-defence because Gaza is under its ‘belligerent occupation’ (pictured: Palestinians pick through rubble after Israeli strikes on Rafah)
A Palestinian woman covered in dust rushes with her child in her arms into the hospital following the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday
The United Nations estimates that at least 2,300 people – patients, staff and displaced civilians – are inside and may be unable to escape because of fierce fighting from the facility where supplies are nearly exhausted
At Al-Shifa in Gaza, doctors said patients and people taking shelter were stranded in horrific conditions in the facility
The lawyer also questioned the Israel Defence Force’s claim that Hamas has been operating from a lair in the basement of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, repeatedly claiming the ‘burden of proof’ lay on Israel.
‘We have gone through five major wars before this one and Israel has attacked hospitals and ambulances, claiming that they were being used by Hamas for military purposes and most of these cases the allegations proved false – just saying, precedence,’ Ms Albanese said.
She went on to condemn the attack by Hamas on October 7, claiming it entailed ‘war crimes’.
But she claimed it was ‘preventable’ because there were no peace-keeping missions and the attitude of the international community which has ‘left carte blanche to Israel to continue its violations of international law against the Palestinian people’.
The October 7 terror attack by Hamas claimed the lives of around 1,400 Israelis, while 240 are still being held as hostages in the terror organisation’s tunnel networks underneath Gaza.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza has exceeded 11,000 people since October 7, including over 4,500 children – the equivalent of one every 10 minutes, according to the World Health Organisation.
On Tuesday, Ms Albanese said she didn’t blame Hamas for the conflict in Gaza, comparing it to her children misbehaving – and said the terror attacks were a ‘natural’ response to Israeli rule.