The international community is failing “epicically” in its response to the war between Israel and Gaza as innocent civilians continue to die, the UN special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories has told the National Press Club in Canberra.
- Francesca Albanese takes aim at global response to Israel-Gaza war
- According to her, the number of deaths and injuries will continue to increase.
- His speech follows a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the Press Club last month.
In her speech, human rights lawyer Francesca Albanese also criticized governments, including Australia’s, for “amnesia”, “myopia” and “living in an alternate reality”, when he is asked about their response to the war, while the death toll from the conflict exceeds 12,000 people. .
“The international community is almost completely paralyzed (and) I’m being generous when I say almost,” she said.
“The UN is experiencing its most epic political and humanitarian failure since its creation.
“Some member states, particularly in the West – and Australia is no exception – are on the sidelines, muttering inaudible words of condemnation… or remaining silent for fear of restricting the self-proclaimed right of self-defense of Israel – whatever that means. »
According to her, under international law, Israel has the right to protect itself, but not the right to wage war.
Ms Albanese’s speech follows Israeli Ambassador to Australia Amir Maimon’s speech to the National Press Club last month.
At the time, he said his country was the victim, not the aggressor.
“We were attacked. Our people were massacred. We did not ask for this war,” he said.
“We are the victims and it is important to remember this when expressing your concerns about the humanitarian situation, about the Palestinians and the civilian casualties.”
The Ministry of Health no longer has the capacity to count deaths
Ms. Albanese also took advantage of her speech to highlight the number of Palestinians and Israelis killed since October 7.
She said that since Israel’s “relentless” bombing of the Gaza Strip, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,500 children, while another 1,200 Israelis died in the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 october.
Ms Albanese said the death toll in Gaza would also rise.
“Let me be very frank, we don’t know when we will know the other people killed after yesterday because the Ministry of Health no longer has the capacity to count deaths,” she said.
Albanese also highlighted the 30,000 Palestinians and 5,000 Israelis injured in the conflict, while noting that 1.5 million people have been displaced in Gaza.
“As we speak, two thousand seven hundred Palestinians are still under the rubble, gasping for air, in need of rescue, medical treatment or burial,” she said.
“That won’t happen. They will probably perish because there is no way to rescue them.
“My predecessors and now I have said that the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are becoming a powder keg. It will explode. It has exploded.”
Ms. Albanese also reminded the audience that Gaza’s population was incredibly young, with half under the age of 18.
The media lacks empathy for the Palestinians
Albanese also criticized international media coverage of the war, calling on journalists to avoid dehumanizing Palestinians.
“You have a lot of homework to do in that regard,” she said.
“In the international media, there is a tendency to talk about the deaths of Palestinians as a tragedy, while the deaths of Israelis are a crime.
“There is a lot of empathy and solidarity towards Israelis when they are victims of violence, and rightly so… but it is lacking on the Palestinian side.”
Albanese also warned against using the term “Israel-Gaza war” because Gaza is not an autonomous entity, but rather part of the occupied territories.