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News > Palestine

Israel Has Turned Palestine Into an Open-Air Prison: Albanese

  • A Palestian woman in Jenin, July 2023.

    A Palestian woman in Jenin, July 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @RuthMimafaith

Published 10 July 2023 (19 hours 49 minutes ago)
Opinion

"In the past 56 years, Israel has governed the Palestinian territory by criminalizing basic rights and imposing mass incarcerations," UN Special Rapporteur pointed out.

On Monday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese stated that Israel has turned all occupied Palestinian territories into an open-air prison, where its inhabitants are constantly confined, monitored, and punished.

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"In the past 56 years, Israel has governed the Palestinian territory by criminalizing basic rights and imposing mass incarcerations," said Albanese during the presentation of her latest report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR), currently meeting in Geneva.

Since 1967 - the year when the Israeli occupation began - over 800,000 Palestinians, including children as young as twelve, have been detained under authoritarian laws enforced by the Israeli military for actions such as expressing opinions, gathering, giving unauthorized speeches, or attempting to do so.

Furthermore, they have been denied the protection that their status as protected civilians implies - due to living in territories under the control of an occupying power - and are considered guilty of crimes without evidence.

"Blockades, walls, segregated infrastructure, checkpoints, and Jewish settlements surround Palestinian villages and towns. Hundreds of bureaucratic permits and a web of digital surveillance are pushing Palestinians further into a state of continuous incarceration within controlled enclaves," Albanese said, emphasizing that the Israeli occupation has caused suffering for generations of Palestinians, who have been subject to arbitrary and systematic deprivation of freedom for the simplest acts.

She added that it cannot be overlooked that Palestinians have also resorted to violence during this period, but many of these acts have been a consequence of the violation of international law, which has deprived them of the right to self-determination, reinforced racial domination, and made the forceful acquisition of territories for the benefit of Israel possible.

Before the UN human rights body, the rapporteur urged governments not to recognize or support the "colonial occupation" or the expansion of annexed territories by Israel.

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