Israel’s military added to UN global list of offenders against children

By Michelle Nichols, Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has added Israel’s military to a global list of offenders who have committed violations against children, said Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan, describing the decision as “shameful”.

Erdan said he was officially notified of the decision on Friday. The global list is included in a report on children and armed conflict that is due to be submitted to the UN Security Council on 14 June.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the decision would impact the country’s relations with the United Nations.

Erdan said he was notified by Guterres’ chief of staff and posted a video on social media of him responding to the decision during their phone call.

“I am utterly shocked and disgusted by this shameful decision of the Secretary-General,” said Erdan. “Israel’s army is the most moral army in the world, so this immoral decision will only aid the terrorists and reward Hamas.”

Guterres spokesperson Stephane Dujarric declined to comment.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the UN had “added itself to the black list of history when it joined those who support the Hamas murderers”.

Guterres’ annual report to the 15-member Security Council on children and armed conflict covers the killing, maiming, sexual abuse, abduction or recruitment of children, denial of aid access and targeting of schools and hospitals.

It was not immediately clear what violations Israel’s military had been accused of committing.

The list is split into two: parties that have put in place measures to protect children and parties that have not. Erdan said he was told Israel had been included on the list of parties that had not put in place adequate measures to protect children.

The report was compiled by Virginia Gamba, Guterres’ special representative for children and armed conflict. The list attached to the report aims to shame parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to implement measures to protect children.

The report was “a step closer to holding Israel accountable for its crimes,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the Palestinian president’s spokesperson, said.

Israel is retaliating against Hamas, which rules Gaza, over an 7 October attack by its militants.

More than 1200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage by Hamas on 7 October, according to Israeli tallies. More than 100 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.

Israel launched an air, ground and sea assault on the blockaded Palestinian territory, killing more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.

– Reuters

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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