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

Israel's UN envoy Gilad Erdan, describing the decision as "shameful

Reuters June 07, 2024
Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies, as the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas continues, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, February 13, 2024.PHOT: REUTERS


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio 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 June 14.

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

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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.

Read: Israeli forces batter central, south Gaza with renewed truce bid at impasse

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 is 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.

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

More than 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, 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.


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