HomeLatest NewsUN adds Israel’s military to offender list for violations against children

UN adds Israel’s military to offender list for violations against children

NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has added Israel’s military to a global list of entities accused of violations against children. This announcement, which Israeli UN envoy Gilad Erdan called “shameful,” has sparked significant diplomatic tensions.

Erdan, who was officially notified of the decision, expressed his outrage on social media, sharing a video of his response during a phone call with Guterres’ chief of staff. He condemned the decision, asserting, “Israel’s army is the most moral army in the world, so this immoral decision will only aid the terrorists and reward Hamas.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, indicated that this decision could negatively affect Israel’s relations with the United Nations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also criticized the UN, stating that it had “added itself to the black list of history when it joined those who support the Hamas murderers.”

The inclusion of Israel’s military on this list is part of Guterres’ annual report on children and armed conflict, which will be submitted to the UN Security Council on June 14. This report documents severe violations such as killing, maiming, sexual abuse, abduction, recruitment of children, denial of aid access, and the targeting of schools and hospitals.

While the specific violations attributed to Israel’s military were not immediately detailed, it was noted that Israel was listed among parties that have not implemented adequate measures to protect children. This list is compiled by Virginia Gamba, Guterres’ special representative for children and armed conflict, with the intent of shaming involved parties into taking protective actions for children.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, particularly following the October 7 attack by Hamas militants, has further intensified the situation. Israel’s retaliatory actions against Gaza have resulted in significant casualties, with Gaza health authorities reporting over 36,000 Palestinian deaths due to the conflict. In contrast, Israel reported more than 1,200 fatalities and over 250 hostages taken during the initial attack, with more than 100 hostages still believed to be held in Gaza.

Guterres’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, declined to comment on the matter. As the situation evolves, the impact of this decision on international relations and ongoing conflicts remains to be seen. AFP

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