GENEVA – In the midst of continued aerial bombardment and dwindling resources, Palestinians in Gaza are facing a mass evacuation order issued by Israel, raising concerns of ethnic cleansing, as stated by UN human rights experts on Saturday.
“In the name of self-defense, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing,” UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese warned. She highlighted that Israel has previously carried out mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians during times of conflict.
“There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale,” she added, referring to the mass expulsions of Palestinians from their homes and land in 1947-48 and 1967. She called for international intervention to prevent a recurrence of such events.
The UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees also expressed concerns about the situation, stating that its shelters in Gaza are no longer safe, and the region’s 2.3 million residents are rapidly running out of water. The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by Israel’s decision to cut off electricity to Gaza following an attack by Hamas on Israel, which has imposed an illegal blockade on the territory since 2007.