February 24, 2024 2:14 pm
Israeli government instructed to confiscate land used by UN offices in Jerusalem

On Monday, the Israeli government took a significant step in response to the ongoing scandal involving UNRWA and its role in Hamas attacks. The government ordered the expropriation of land occupied by the UNRWA offices in East Jerusalem, effective immediately. Additionally, it banned entry into its territory of special rapporteur Francesca Albanese after she criticized statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron about the Hamas assault on Israel.

The decision was made by Yitzhak Goldknopf, who is the housing minister of Israel. In a letter to Yaakov Quint, director general of the Israel Lands Authority (ILA), Goldknopf ordered all agreements signed between ILA and UNRWA to be put “immediately” to an end. This move would effectively evict UNRWA from all territories that were leased to it by the State.

Goldknopf justified his decision by stating that UNRWA had been acting in service of Hamas, a terrorist group that governs Gaza Strip, and even participated in the brutal massacre that occurred on October 7th. He stated that his intention was to put an end to this situation and kick UNRWA out of Israel.

This measure would affect offices located in Maalot Dafna and Kafr Aqab, which are both informally annexed by Israel since 1967 and part of Palestinian territories under International Law. The Israeli authorities have been critical of UNRWA after it became known that some employees were investigated for collaborating with Hamas in attacks against Israeli territory earlier this year, which led to the current conflict.

Francesca Albanese, an independent presumption expert appointed by the United Nations, last week criticized statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron about the Hamas assault on Israel as being anti-Semitic. As a result, she has been banned from entering Israel’s territory. However, she reacted quickly on social media and reiterated her stance on Israeli’s actions against Palestinians saying “Israel’s ban is not new; they have been banning all special rapporteurs on Palestinian territories since 2008! This should not divert attention from Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.”

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