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Israel/OPT: UN expert's report on genocide in Gaza must lead to international action

There have been numerous warnings that Israel may be committing genocide in Gaza © Marie-Anne Ventoura/Amnesty International UK

Francesca Albanese tells UN Human Rights Council there are ‘reasonable grounds to believe the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met’ 

Campaigners rename road outside Israeli embassy in London ‘Genocide Avenue’

‘The time to act to prevent genocide is now’ - Agnès Callamard 

Amnesty International has welcomed a new report by Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which concludes there are “reasonable grounds to believe the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met”. 

As the UN Human Rights Council holds a meeting today to discuss the report’s findings, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“This is a crucial body of work that must serve as a vital call to action. 

“The time to act to prevent genocide is now. States must uphold their obligations under the Genocide Convention and take concrete measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza today.

“Third states must apply political pressure on the warring parties to implement the UN Security Council resolution adopted yesterday demanding an immediate ceasefire, use their influence to insist that Israel abides by the resolution, including by stopping the shelling and lifting restrictions on humanitarian aid.

“They must impose a comprehensive arms embargo against all parties to the conflict. They must also pressure Hamas and other armed groups to free all civilian hostages. 

“We echo calls made in the UN Special Rapporteur’s report to ensure that UNRWA is fully funded and able to operate across all of Gaza - including in northern Gaza where the Israeli authorities are denying entry to UNRWA trucks.

“Helping to prevent genocide also means supporting accountability efforts, including the ongoing investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and exercising universal jurisdiction to bring those suspected of crimes under international law to justice. 

“All states - and in particular allies of Israel - must press Israel to allow the UN Commission of Inquiry and the Special Rapporteur and other independent human rights monitors access to Gaza. 

“An enduring ceasefire remains the best way to enforce the ICJ’s provisional measures to prevent genocide, and further crimes and civilian suffering.”

‘Genocide Avenue’

Earlier today, campaigners from Amnesty International UK renamed the road outside the Israeli embassy in London “Genocide Avenue” to draw attention to mounting concerns that Israel may be committing genocide in Gaza. Amnesty’s stunt saw authentic-looking London street signs attached to lamp posts in Palace Green - the road outside the embassy in the Kensington area of west London - by a figure in a Benjamin Netanyahu face mask. Campaigners also held up placards saying “Prevent Genocide”, “We can’t say we didn’t know”, “Ceasefire NOW” and “End Israeli Apartheid”.

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