Does Israel really have right to defend itself? This question is asked every time Zionists invoke the apt repeated phrase to justify the killings and targeting of Palestinians in their occupied homeland. Though by a small section, as the brutal murder and targeting of Palestinians by the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) was limited in scale.
However, Israel’s claim of right to self-defence came under serious scrutiny following its relentless bombings of residential building, healthcare facilities, hospitals, schools, churches and mosques in Gaza and indiscriminate, deliberate and brutal killings of civilians – without sparing women and children – journalists, aid workers, doctors and other medical staff after Oct 7, 2023.
More than 11,320 people – over 70 per cent of them women and children, have been killed and 40 per cent of residential buildings, a number of mosques and churches, schools – locally administered as well as run by UN and other agencies, in Hamas controlled Gaza Strip have been fully or partially damaged by round the clock Israeli bombings.
As many as 22 of the total 35 hospitals in Gaza have become non-operational because of the Israeli blockade resulting in power outage, shortage of fuel, water and other necessary amenities. At least four hospitals, including Al Shifa and Al Rantisi hospitals, have been stormed by the Israeli Occupation Forces, mocking all the international and humanitarian laws.
The blatant and repeated violations in full public view of the set international and humanitarian norms by the Zionist forces compelled the world leaders - including those from Russia, China and Brazil, saying in one voice that the Israeli response to Hamas attack has gone beyond the scope of self defence.
A number of activists, scholars, academicians and top UN officials, including UN Secretary General António Guterres, have said what Israel is doing in Gaza and occupied Palestine are war crimes and genocide. Even the brutality of Hamas attack on Israel cannot justify the scale of death and destruction that the world is witnessing in Gaza, they said.
And, now Francesca Albanese - UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, Italian international lawyer and academic, and Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, has said as per the UN Charter and international laws Israel because of the fact that it is an occupier does not have any right to self defence.
Addressing the National Press Club of Australia Tuesday, Francesca Albanese said Israel's right to self-defence is “non-existent” under international law as it is not under threat from another state.
In her address, Francesca Albanese also repeatedly highlighted the fact that Israel is an occupier and apartheid state which is keeping Palestinian land under its “belligerent occupation”.
"Israel cannot claim the right to self-defence against a threat that emanates from a territory it occupies, from a territory that is under belligerent occupation," said Francesca addressing the press held in Canberra, Australia.
Is Israel justified in claiming a 'right of self-defense' under international law? Listen to Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur. #Gaza #Israel pic.twitter.com/kgE3ejdlo8— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 15, 2023
Is Israel justified in claiming a 'right of self-defense' under international law? Listen to Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur. #Gaza #Israel pic.twitter.com/kgE3ejdlo8
“Article 51 of the UN Charter that Israel has invoked is not just the right to protect itself. Self-defence under international law is a legal term of art and means the right to wage war which Israel doesn’t have. And this is a consolidated jurisprudence of the supreme judicial organ of the United Nations”, she said.
Francesca Albanese compared the attack on Israel to the 2015 Paris terror attacks, which were allegedly carried out by Daesh/ISIS-linked cells operating from neighbouring Belgium.
“Did France go and bomb entire residential areas in Belgium? No,” she said.
The UN special rapporteur also compared the situation in Gaza to the Nakba, the 1948 “catastrophe” when some 750,000 Palestinians were exiled from their land by Israel.
“Individual member states, especially in (the) West — and Australia is no exception — are on the margins, muttering inaudible words of condemnation for Israel’s excesses at best, or stay silent in fear of restraining Israel’s claimed right to self-defense, whatever it means,” she added.
Francesca Albanese calls out #NPC host Tom Connell for not keeping a “straight face” while claiming Israel isn’t targeting civilians just bcoz they warned them to flee.Albanese explains that forcing civilians to flee is not only “unlawful” but there is also “nowhere to go” pic.twitter.com/Qjlks8QKCu— stranger (@strangerous10) November 14, 2023
Francesca Albanese calls out #NPC host Tom Connell for not keeping a “straight face” while claiming Israel isn’t targeting civilians just bcoz they warned them to flee.Albanese explains that forcing civilians to flee is not only “unlawful” but there is also “nowhere to go” pic.twitter.com/Qjlks8QKCu
Stating that the right of self defence can be invoked when a state is threatened by another state, she said, “This is not the case here as Israel has not claimed that it has been threatened by another state.”
“It’s been threatened by an armed group within occupied territory”, she added.
Responding to a reporter’s question, Francesca Albanese said “Israel is an apartheid regime”.
“This is not a trope. This (what I am talking) is international law”, she said.
Albanese also condemned the Israel order to Palestinians to evacuate and move from North to South Gaza, asserting that forcing civilians to flee is not only “unlawful but in Gaza there is also nowhere to go”.
She also warned that there is a clear risk of genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza Strip.
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