UN Human Rights Advocate Rails Against Israel Following Hamas Attack

(Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese criticized Israel’s “militarized settler colonial occupation” of Gaza and violence against Palestinians following the recent terrorist attack by Hamas, according to Al Jazeera.

Hamas launched thousands of rockets into Israel in a massive surprise assault against Israel early Saturday morning and sent dozens of terrorists into the country, who have executed hundreds of Israeli citizens while kidnapping and raping others, according to the Jewish Chronicle. Albanese, a human rights expert for the U.N. on the Palestinian territories, said that she was “shocked by the violence,”  but claimed that Israel’s “settler-colonial occupation … trapped both people,” according to Al Jazeera. (RELATED: Death Toll Of US Citizens Killed In Israel Climbs To 9)

“I have been in this role for 16 months now and … since the very beginning, I saw violence mounting against defenseless Palestinians. And this is something that has been ongoing for six decades now,” Albanese said. “The settler colonial occupation, the militarized settler colonial occupation that Israel maintains and trapped both people. Both of them are incredibly tied in the same destiny and one cannot do without the other.”

Israel’s military occupation of the Gaza Strip ended in 2005 after the country pulled out the last of its troops, according to The New York Times. Albanese, however, has previously called on the international community to condemn the rise in Israeli settlements in the area, according to Al Jazeera.

Albanese claimed that it was “dangerous” to ignore Israel’s “decades of oppression … brutalization, structural violence of course punctuated also by eruptive violence,” according to Al Jazeera. She said that “before anything else” she was “horrified by the narrative[s]” and that no one should take sides in the conflict, while making no mention in her remarks of Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist organization, which has claimed responsibility for the violence.

“[I]t is possible, and necessary, to stand both with the Palestinians and the Israelis without resorting to ethical relativism, to selective outrage or worse, calls for violence,” Albanese said.

Albanese further argued that other human rights groups had warned “that continuing to oppress” Palestinians “would lead to a catastrophe” and placed additional blame on the “international community” for the situation, according to Al Jazeera. In December, Albanese faced heavy criticism after a 2014 Facebook post was unearthed accusing the U.S. of being subjugated to the “Jewish lobby” and compared the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to “Nazis.”

The IDF said Monday that the death toll in Israel had reached above 700 and over 2,100 people had been injured. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was going to war with Hamas and that the repercussions of the attack would be “difficult and terrible.”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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