Wednesday, June 19, 2024

United Nations to put Israel on blacklist of countries harming children in conflict zones

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View of the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, in NYC, USA, on January 16, 2023 (Photo: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90).

The United Nations has decided to add Israel to its blacklist of countries and organizations harming children in conflict zones, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told Israel’s defense attache in the U.S., Maj.-Gen. Hedy Silberman, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

Despite Israel’s weeks-long efforts to dissuade Guterres from taking this step, Israel is expected to be included on the list to be published next week as part of a report to the UN Security Council, according to local Channel 13 News.

Last month, Ynet News reported that Israeli officials were increasingly concerned the move was imminent, with sources saying, “The current Secretary-General hates Israel and it is no longer possible to influence him.”

“The meaning of Israel’s inclusion in the blacklist is very problematic and may cause countries in the world to impose an arms embargo on Israel,” the sources added.

Israel will join a UN blacklist of countries, including Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria, as well as terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram. Last year, Russia was added to the list for its attack on Ukrainian schools and hospitals and for transferring children from Ukraine to Russia.

The list includes the aforementioned countries and organizations under the heading: “Parties that have not taken sufficient steps to improve the protection of children.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has long-demanded Israel’s inclusion on the blacklist and protested against the UN decision not to include it last year.

In 2023, Guterres praised Israel’s engagement with the UN special envoy for Children in Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, and the “identification of practical measures including those proposed by the UN.” to protect children.

According to the Palestinians, last year Israel committed “grave violations” against 1,139 Palestinian children, including 54 killings. Israel has criticized these statistics since Palestinians count everyone under 18 as a child, despite many of the killed being armed and shot by security forces during anti-terror raids.

Ynet stated the first report draft did not mention the use of hospitals or children as human shields by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It also did not mention that Palestinian terrorists fired rockets at Israel’s civilian population, including kindergartens, hospitals and schools.

The document also accused Israel of killing six minors in Lebanon since Oct. 7, without mentioning Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel originating from Lebanon.

The draft contained accusations that Israel committed 20,000 violations against children, 459 attacks on schools and 326 attacks on hospitals.

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