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UK: campaigners rename road outside Israeli Embassy 'Genocide Avenue'

An activist in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy in west London today © Marie-Anne Ventoura/Amnesty International UK

Activist in Benjamin Netanyahu face mask attached authentic-looking London street signs to lamp posts near embassy building

Event comes as Francesca Albanese says there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe genocide is being committed in Gaza

Campaigners from Amnesty International UK have 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.

The Amnesty stunt coincides with Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, providing an update to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the situation in Gaza this morning in which she says “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met” in relation to Gaza.

The street renaming also took place exactly two months after the International Court of Justice said there were “plausible” grounds to suspect that Israel may be committing genocidal acts 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”.

Following the street renaming, campaigners attempted to hand in a letter to the embassy from Amnesty UK’s Chief Executive Sacha Deshmukh outlining the organisation’s concerns over the Gaza crisis. However, police officers stationed outside the embassy informed Amnesty that the embassy would not be prepared to take delivery of the letter. 

Amnesty is calling on all parties to urgently agree a ceasefire and for Israel to lift its 17-year-long blockade on Gaza, which Amnesty has denounced as a war crime and a key part of Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians. Israel, as the occupying power, must also facilitate a massive emergency relief effort in Gaza, while also fully cooperating with ongoing international justice mechanisms such as the International Court of Justice genocide case and the International Criminal Court’s investigations into serious human rights violations in Israel and Palestine.

Israel has rejected the interim findings of the world court but there are mounting international fears that Israel’s relentless bombing and ground attacks in Gaza as well as its refusal to allow more food and other humanitarian aid into the territory may amount to the commission of genocide in Gaza. 

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