UN’s Ban slams the IDF but leaves Israel & Hamas off children’s rights blacklist

United Nations chief condemns Israel over IDF’s impact on Gaza’s children of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge but doesn’t mention how Hamas “obstruct humanitarian aid, fire from civilian population centers and use innocents as human shields.”


Israel on Monday welcomed a United Nations decision not to place Israel on a black list that included organizations such as ISIS, but criticized it for going easy on Hamas.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – Photo: REUTERS

UN special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, had placed the IDF and the terrorist organization Hamas on a blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children’s rights during conflicts.

The list was part of a draft report Zerrougui had submitted to UN Secretary-General Ban KI-moon last month on armed conflict.

Ban’s office is responsible for publishing the final report, which is distributed to the UN Security Council. The secretary-general has the right to amend the report. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked Ban not to include Israel in the report.

The secretary-general on Monday took both the IDF and Hamas off the list, but charged that Israel had used excessive force during its 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in New York Ron Prosor said, “The UN Secretary-General was right not to submit to the dictates of the terrorist organizations & Arab states in his decision not to include Israel in this shameful list, that includes organizations like ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.”

He added, however, that the “UN still has a long way to go.”

He urged it to “unequivocally condemn the terrorist organizations that operate in Gaza, including Hamas rather then releasing endless reports against Israel.

These terrorist organizations in Gaza, “obstruct humanitarian aid, fire from civilian population centers and use innocents as human shields,” Prosor said. “Only after these organizations are recognized as terrorist organizations and condemned, can we promote real solutions,” Prosor added.

UN sources have said that Ban’s decision to override Zerrougui’s recommendation was unusual.

Still, his 43-page report strongly criticized the impact that the 2014 Gaza war had on children.

“The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of the impact on children in 2014 raises grave concerns about Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law … particularly in relation to excessive use of force,” he said.

According to the UN, 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians and including 540 children, were killed during last year’s 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas. The IDF estimates that half of those killed were militants.

During Operation Protective Edge, 67 IDF soldiers and six Israeli civilians were killed.

A UN inquiry found that Israel fired on seven UN schools, killing 44 Palestinians who had sought shelter at some sites, and that Palestinian militants had hidden weapons and launched attacks from several empty UN schools.

Ban said that in conflicts in Central African Republic, Iraq, Israel and the Palestine territories, Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria, “children were affected to a degree which is an affront to our common humanity.” The report, which covers at least 23 situations, noted the five deadliest conflicts for children. It said 710 children were killed in Afghanistan, 679 in Iraq, 557 Palestinian children died, 368 in Syria, and 197 in Darfur, Sudan.

As in the case of Israel and the Palestinian territories, not all groups or armies were added to the blacklist.

The UN report blacklists groups or armed forces that “recruit or use children, kill or maim children, commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, or engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals.” Armed groups blacklisted were involved in conflicts in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Colombia, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Countries whose national or regional armed forces were included on the blacklist were Afghanistan, DRC, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Myanmar and Yemen.


View original The Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UNs-Ban-slams-IDF-but-leaves-Israel-Hamas-off-childrens-rights-blacklist-405402