There are “reasonable grounds” to believe Israel is committing genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip, according to a report issued by a United Nations-appointed expert.

In the report, issued late on Monday, the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories Francesca Albanese said there are clear indications that Israel has violated three of the five acts listed under the UN Genocide Convention.

Albanese, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council but not an official voice on behalf of the United Nations, said she had found “reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of … acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza has been met”.

“The overwhelming nature and scale of Israel’s assault on Gaza and the destructive conditions of life it has inflicted reveal an intent to physically destroy Palestinians as a group,” she said.

The report was immediately rejected by Israel as an “obscene inversion of reality”.

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