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UN special rapporteur banned from entering Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories after supporting Hamas’ al-Aqsa Storm

UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese

A United Nations special rapporteur has been banned from entering the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories after voicing support for last October’s Operation al-Aqsa Storm, the largest retaliatory attack by Palestinian resistance groups against Israel in decades.

Francesca Albanese was officially denied visa to Israel following a post on her X social media account, in which she backed the Hamas-led surprise attack on October 7, 2023 and wrote, “The victims of 7/10 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel’s oppression.”

Albanese, who has been the UN’s point person for the occupied Palestinian territories since 2022, made the post after French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the Hamas-led attack was the "greatest anti-Semitic massacre of our century.”

The UN special rapporteur went on to stress, “I reject all racism, including anti-Semitism which is a global threat. But explaining these crimes as anti-Semitism obscures their true cause."

The Israeli regime’s foreign and interior ministries confirmed the ban on Albanese on Monday, saying she would not be allowed into the occupied territories and that the ban was attributed to her "outrageous statement."

In a post on X later in the day, Albanese said the ban must not become a “distraction from Israel's atrocities in Gaza,” and that UN special rapporteurs are no stranger to such moves by the occupying regime.

Albanese has been an outspoken critic of Israel and has previously described the regime’s treatment of Palestinians as tantamount to apartheid.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups waged the surprise Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Hamas-led Palestinian resistance groups fired some 4,000 rockets at the occupied territories and killed around 1,200 Israeli forces and settlers.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 28,176 individuals, the majority of whom are innocent civilians, and injured more than 68,000 others.

Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza, which is under “complete siege” by Israel.

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