The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese, said that self-determination is a right of the Palestinian people and without Palestinians being free as a people they cannot be free as individuals.
Albanese added that “the Palestinians are not free because of the occupation, as my mandate is limited to reports related to the territories occupied in 1967, in which there is an international consensus about its territorial integrity and about the right of the Palestinian people to it as a people, not as a minority, and that it must be achieved.”
“Israel has prevented this right, through the annexation of Palestinian lands, their appropriation, and the exploitation of those lands, natural resources, and their water,” she said.
She explained, “This happened not for the benefit of the population living under occupation, but rather increased the poverty of the Palestinians, and prevented the formation and expression of a normal and free Palestinian political movement and will, by targeting their political leaders, assassinations, detentions, and others.”
She stressed that talking about “the framework of the apartheid regime is necessary to describe the reality, but whatever the name is, apartheid is part of the criminal behavior practiced by Israel.”
“My fear, as a lawyer, was that the dismantling of the apartheid regime would lead to recognition of Israeli rule over the Palestinian territories. These Palestinian lands have been allocated in their entirety as a Palestinian state and it is up to the Palestinians what they want to do with it,” concluded Albanese.