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Israel denies visa to UN activist as atrocities in Gaza continue

11:17 AM | 13 Feb, 2024
Israel denies visa to UN activist as atrocities in Gaza continue

TEL AVIV - The Israeli government refused a visa to the United Nations special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, it emerged on Monday.

Israel announced the visa ban on Francesca Albanese following her recent comments disputing the characterization of Hamas' October 7 attack as antisemitic.

Albanese, an independent expert appointed by the UN, expressed disagreement with French President Emmanuel Macron's description of the attack as "the biggest antisemitic massacre of our century,".

The activist took a different stance on platform X and consequently was denied the visa by the authorities which have taken similar action in the past.

"No, the victims of 7/10 were not killed because of their Jewishness but in response to Israeli oppression," she had said.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel condemned Albanese's remarks as "outrageous" and announced that she would be denied entry to the country, with instructions given to immigration authorities not to issue her a visa besides calling for her dismissal.

The Israeli ministers also emphasized that for the UN to regain relevance, its leaders must publicly disavow Albanese's remarks and terminate her employment.

Tensions between Israel and various UN bodies and representatives have escalated since the conflict with Hamas began in October last year.

On the other hand, Albanese posted multiple messages on her social media account denouncing the decision.

"I refuse to be intimidated by those complicit in the perpetuation of the Nakba. Denial won't erase the tragedy, as history repeats with even greater ferocity," she said referencing the mass displacement of Palestinians during Israel's creation in 1948.

'BREAKING: Israel's "denying me entry" is not news: Israel has denied entry to ALL Special Rapporteurs/oPt since 2008! This must not become a distraction from Israel's atrocities in Gaza, which are taking a new level of horror with the bombing of people in 'safe areas' in #Rafah,' she said in another post.

Albanese has previously clarified that her remarks were not meant to justify the Hamas attack and has condemned it multiple times. She views antisemitism as a global threat but believes that labeling such crimes solely as antisemitism obscures their underlying causes.

UN special rapporteurs, including Albanese, serve as independent experts mandated by the Human Rights Council to report their findings to the council's fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Israel has criticized Albanese in the past, particularly for her comments regarding Palestinians in Gaza and the suspension of funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, over allegations involving the October 7 attack.

In December last year, it was also reported that the Israeli authorities refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths and two of the UN employees due to their stance on the ongoing Israel-Palestine war that has left over 28,000 Palestinians dead to this day.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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