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Israel mulls barring UN envoy from entering occupied territories over anti-regime remarks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Palestine

The Israeli regime is reportedly mulling over denying entry to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 amid a spike in the regime's aggression against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

According to the Israeli media outlet Israel National News, the regime is considering a ban on Francesca Albanese, an international lawyer and researcher who has worked extensively on the Palestinian issue, for making anti-Israeli remarks.

The newspaper claimed that Albanese took part in a conference last week in the Gaza Strip, which was also attended by Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials, and told the participants that “you have the right to resist this occupation.”

Organized by the Council on International Relations-Palestine, the conference was titled “16 Years of Siege on Gaza: Impacts and Prospects” which aimed to shed light on the repercussions of the siege on the besieged enclave, the Palestinian Chronicle reported.

Albanese is not the first UN representative to be denied access to the occupied territories by the Israeli authorities. Her predecessors Michael Lynk and Richard Falk, among others, were repeatedly prevented from visiting due to their critical stance on the regime's atrocities.

In a report on October 18, Albanese strongly condemned the Israeli regime's “apartheid practices” in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying its actions against Palestinians amount to “persecution.”

“Realizing the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination requires dismantling once and for all the Israeli settler-colonial occupation and its apartheid practices,” she asserted.

In the report, Albanese called for a paradigm shift to “overcome this situation".

“This can only be resolved by respecting the cardinal norm of peoples’ right to self-determination and the recognition of the absolute illegality of the settler-colonialism and apartheid that the prolonged Israeli occupation has imposed on the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory,” the report read.

Israel to deport rights activist

Meanwhile, the regime is set to deport Salah Hamouri, a Palestinian-French human rights lawyer and resident of occupied East al-Quds, according to reports.

Lea Tsemel, Hamouri’s lawyer, was informed of the decision on Wednesday, the Palestinian Chronicle reported.

The 37-year-old activist was arrested in March by Israeli forces and placed in administrative detention, a notorious practice in which a person is held indefinitely without a charge or trial.

The Israeli interior ministry officially revoked Hamouri’s residency status in October 2021.

Israel has accused Hamouri of being an “active” member of the Palestine Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), branding it as a “terror” organization.

The developments come as, since the start of 2022, Israeli troops have killed more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds as well as the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to the United Nations, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in the occupied West Bank this year is the highest in 16 years.

Local and international rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians.

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