The UN adds Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the list of countries and groups that harm children

The United Nations will add Israel, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to its list of countries and armed groups that harm children when it releases its annual report on children and armed conflict, citing the The war in Gaza has taken a heavy toll on minors, including the killing of children. , disabled and starving, UN officials said.

Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations, said the agency’s chief of staff called Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, on Friday to inform him that Israel would be included in the list. this year. “This call is a courtesy to the newly listed countries, to inform the countries in advance and avoid leaks,” Mr. Dujarric said.

Hamas, the armed group that ruled Gaza before the war, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed group in the enclave, will be named in the report. A United Nations official said Hamas is facing charges because its fighters kidnapped and killed Israeli children when they attacked Israel on October 7. Armed groups harm children conflicts, such as the Taliban and Boko Haram, are regularly named in annual reports.

News of Israel’s listing further strains already deteriorating relations between the country and the United Nations.

Mr. Erdan called the move “an immoral decision to support terrorism and reward terrorists.” He videotaped the phone call and released parts of it on social networking site X.

Mr. Dujarric, the United Nations spokesman, called the release of the phone recording “shocking and unacceptable and something I have never seen in my 25 years serving this organization.”

The United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict prepares an annual report as authorized by the General Assembly and the Security Council. Mr. Dujarric said the report will be presented to Council members next Friday and made publicly available on June 18. The council will have an open debate on the report’s findings later this month.

In a terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7, armed men kidnapped children, some of them toddlers and infants, and held them hostage in Gaza. Children were also among the approximately 1,200 Israelis and foreigners killed.

Gaza health officials say Israel’s retaliatory bombing campaign and ground war have killed at least 36,000 people, most of them women and children. The United Nations says children in Gaza also face hunger because Israel limits humanitarian aid. Many children also have limbs amputated or are seriously injured in other conditions.

Majed Bamya, Deputy Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, said in a post on X, “Israeli ministers are the only ones surprised by such a development (the list will be published next week) after the killing and maiming of so many Palestinian children.”


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