SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 August 2021, Monday |

Palestine slams UN for whitewashing Israeli atrocities against Palestinian children

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has criticized the United Nations for leaving Israel off the annual blacklist of parties responsible for grave violations against children, saying ignoring the regime’s crimes would guarantee impunity for the child-killing entity.

It said the UN action puts its reports at risk of “invalidity” and “dishonesty”, as well as skepticism about the principles on which the UN is based.

In a recent report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on the Israeli authorities to reduce army operations against children and guarantee punishment in all cases where children are killed, but he decided not to blacklist the regime for violating children’s rights in occupied Palestine.

While blaming the Israeli military for most of the major child abuses in 2020 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, Guterres merely called on the Israeli regime to investigate cases in which it used weapons. It also called for an end to the administrative detention of children and for prevention of any ill-treatment during detention or attempts to recruit children.

In the report, however, the UN secretary general blacklisted Ansarullah movement, which is defending Yemen against six years of Saudi-led military aggression on the impoverished country, while refusing to include Saudi Arabia for the war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni civilians.

He also blacklisted the Syrian army for allegedly violating children’s rights.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it closely follows the UN’s report on the rights of children in armed conflicts, which is to be published by Guterres soon.

The ministry said the Palestinian government expects the UN secretary general to blacklist the Israeli regime and its army and settlers as parties that gravely violate the rights of children in armed conflicts.

It added that a failure to comply with international law and its institutions and principles amounts to encouraging Israel to continue its organized terrorism and inviting the regime to continue its deliberate crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Earlier, Palestinian resistance group Hamas also expressed anger at the UN’s failure to blacklist Israel, saying the UN green-lighted Israel’s crimes against Palestinian children.

In a statement on Saturday, Hamas blamed Guterres for the non-inclusion, pointing to the Israeli massacre of 66 Palestinian children in the regime’s latest war on the Gaza Strip as well as the killing of innocent Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank as clear examples of the atrocities Israel commits against Palestinian children.

Hamas said the report lacks an impartial and transparent investigation into Israeli crimes, demanding that Guterres correct his mistake and add the name of “the occupation state” to its blacklist.