UN excludes Israel from its ‘List of Shame’ for atrocities against children during conflicts 

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June 9, Jerusalem: The United nations has excluded Israel from its “List of Shame” of states and armed groups that violate children’s rights during conflicts,, despite an outcry over the death of more than 500 children in the Gaza war on Tuesday.

When the report had been first drafted Israel had been a part of the report because of the impact Israel‘s attack on the Gaza strip had on children last summer.According to UNICEF, the 50-day conflict in Gaza last year killed 539 children and injured 2,956, most of whom are Palestinians now struggling with trauma and life-long disabilities..

The draft 2015 report prepared by the secretary-general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, recommended adding Israel and Hamas to the annexed list of parties – the so-called “List of Shame” – due to their repeated violations against children, media reports have said. It is not known if she also recommended adding other parties.

Despite pressures from rights groups, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has excluded Israel from the list of violators.”The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of the impact on children in 2014 raises grave concerns about Israel‘s compliance with international humanitarian law, notably the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack, and respect for international human rights law, particularly in relation to excessive use of force,” he said.

According to human right activists, the full report to shows obvious contradictions as it first states that  the number of Palestinian school children killed in 2014 was the third highest of anywhere in the World, It also says the number of schools damaged or destroyed was the highest anywhere in 2014. And then you look at the annex – the list that’s supposed to summarise it all, listing groups that kill or maim children and engage on attacks on schools – and Israel’s name is not there.“Secretary-General Ban can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, not political pressure,” said Philippe Bolopion, crisis advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Applying consistent standards would add some long-time abusive parties to the list, including Israel and Hamas, for their wartime conduct harming children.”

The UN chief has cited a “dramatic increase” in the number of children killed in Israel and in the Palestinian territories in 2014. approximately,  561 children (557 Palestinian, four Israeli) were killed and 4,271 injured (4,249 Palestinian and 22 Israeli) last year.

 

Ban has also criticised “Palestinian armed groups” for indiscriminate rocket fire that endangered children in Israel and Gaza.

The UN special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, had reportedly included Israel‘s army and Hamas in a draft of the report she had sent to the secretary-general, who had final say on the blacklist.

 

The Oslo Times and Agencies

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