Connect with us

International

United Nations lists Israeli military as failing to protect children in conflict zones

The UN has added the Israeli military to its list of groups failing to protect children in conflict zones. Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan condemned the decision as “shameful,” and Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned it could affect Israel-UN relations. A Palestinian spokesperson called it a step toward holding Israel accountable for alleged crimes.

Published

on

The United Nations has added the Israeli military to its annual list of parties failing to protect children in conflict zones, a decision that has sparked strong reactions from Israeli officials.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, was notified of the decision last Friday and slammed it as “shameful.” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz stated that this development could significantly impact Israel’s relations with the UN.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian president informed Reuters that the decision moved closer to holding Israel accountable for what he referred to as its crimes.

The list, which includes militant groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was released ahead of a comprehensive report scheduled to be presented to the UN Security Council next week.

Compiled by the Secretary-General, the report details serious violations such as the killing of children, denial of humanitarian aid, and targeting of schools and hospitals during conflicts.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently criticized the UN’s decision, claiming it unfairly tarnished the reputation of the Israeli military, which he described as “the most moral army in the world.”

The contention arose following a series of Israeli offensives initiated after a Hamas attack on 7 October last year, which, according to the Israeli National Council for the Child, resulted in the deaths of 1,139 people, including 38 children, and the abduction of 252 others, 42 of whom were children.

Conversely, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza reports that 36,731 people have been killed by Israeli operations. The UN’s recent figures indicate that at least 7,797 of these were children. These figures were revised down from earlier estimates, which initially suggested that women and children accounted for 69% of the casualties; the revised figure is now 52%.

The conflict has severely curtailed the delivery of essential supplies to Gaza, with Israel facing accusations of delaying aid. Despite these challenges, Israel contests these claims, arguing that UN bodies and other humanitarian organizations have mismanaged the aid allowed into the area.

According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Israel’s ground operations in Rafah have resulted in the closure of the Rafah crossing and a blockade that prevents humanitarian workers and critical aid, including fuel, from entering. This has severely limited the IRC’s and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) ability to deliver essential services and aid to those in dire need. An emergency medical team from IRC and MAP was initially scheduled to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing on May 13.

In April, an average of 186 aid trucks entered Gaza daily, which is only 37% of the number of trucks that entered before the war began in October 2023. Access restrictions imposed by Israel in March significantly disrupted humanitarian efforts in Gaza. Lengthy inspections, fuel scarcities, and restrictions on the movement of vehicles and authorized drivers caused major delays. Additionally, congestion at the Kerem Shalom crossing poses significant operational challenges.

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, criticized the Israeli authorities for blocking critical aid, essential for the survival of Gaza’s population, despite the dire humanitarian situation. Additionally, five Israeli human rights groups recently challenged the Israeli government’s restrictions on aid to Gaza in the country’s high court, describing the government’s assertion that it has fulfilled its obligations as “incomprehensible.”

Addressing media inquiries regarding the list, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, provided details about the forthcoming annual report on Children in Armed Conflict.

“The report is scheduled for presentation to the Security Council on June 14th, next Friday, and will be distributed in advance to Council members,” he stated.

“Official publication is set for June 18th, followed by a press conference with Virginia Gamba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the issue. The Security Council will then discuss the report in an open debate on June 26th.”

Dujarric further explained that Earle Courtenay Rattray, Chef de Cabinet, made a courtesy call to Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Permanent Representative, as is customary for countries newly included in the report’s annex. This protocol aims to provide advance notice to those nations and prevent information leaks.

He expressed dismay over Ambassador Erdan’s decision to record and partially release the call on Twitter, describing it as “shocking and unacceptable” and a breach of norms he has not witnessed in his 24 years with the organization.

During the press conference, Dujarric also conveyed the UN Secretary-General’s condemnation of recent Israeli airstrikes on a school in a newly struck refugee camp, which was sheltering around 6,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). The attack reportedly resulted in over 30 deaths, including 14 children. He reiterated that UN premises must remain inviolable during conflicts, protected by all parties, and not used for military purposes.

The ongoing violence and restrictions have worsened living conditions in Gaza, leading to potential famine conditions in the northern region as noted by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). This crisis is compounded by the mass displacement of Palestinians in southern Gaza, which has led to catastrophic living conditions characterized by malnutrition and dehydration among children, as highlighted by UNRWA spokeswoman Juliette Touma.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
4 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
4 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Netanyahu just follow Loong example. Show a show and pretend he did his job and continue to purge others for his empire benefit. No???

Becos of Putin. You have another murderer. No?!? Adults who cannot negotiate an end to war But wanna benefit from it by using it to purge those who are not useful to them or subservient to them.
One representing an alliance and the other the Loong alliance. No?!?

Israel will win and always win.

Useless Nations, when are you arresting Putin?

Trending