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    UN Adds Israel to 'Blacklist' for Harming Children in Conflict Amid Gaza War

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    UN Adds Israel to 'Blacklist' for Harming Children in Conflict Amid Gaza War
    • June 8, 2024 • 2 months ago
    in summary
    The United Nations is adding Israel to its "blacklist" of countries that harm children in conflict, following the deaths of over 15,500 Palestinian children in Gaza. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan confirmed the decision, condemning it as "outrageous" and defending the Israeli military's conduct. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, explained that the notification was a standard courtesy and criticized Erdan's public release of the phone call. The official report will be presented to the UN Security Council on June 14.

    The United Nations is set to add Israel to its "blacklist" of countries that harm children in armed conflict, a decision confirmed by an Israeli diplomat. This move comes in response to the ongoing Gaza war, which has resulted in the deaths of over 15,500 Palestinian children and widespread malnutrition among the population.

    Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, publicly acknowledged receiving official notification from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regarding Israel's addition to the list. In a social media post on Friday, Erdan expressed his outrage, labeling the decision as "outrageous and wrong." He also defended the Israeli military, describing it as "the most moral in the world." Erdan's post included a video of him speaking into a telephone, vehemently condemning the UN's decision. "The only one being blacklisted is the Secretary-General who incentivizes and encourages terrorism and is motivated by hatred towards Israel," Erdan stated.

    The UN's decision is part of its annual "Children in Armed Conflict" report, which documents violations against children in conflict zones. According to UN officials, Israel's actions in Gaza have resulted in significant child casualties and humanitarian issues, prompting its inclusion on the blacklist. This report is scheduled to be presented to the UN Security Council on June 14th, with the official publication to follow a few days later.

    Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for Guterres, commented on Erdan's remarks, explaining that the notification was a standard procedure for countries newly listed in the report's annex. "It is done to give those countries a heads-up and avoid leaks," Dujarric told reporters. He expressed shock and disapproval over Erdan's public sharing of the phone call, calling it "shocking and unacceptable." Dujarric added, "Frankly, it's something I've never seen in my 24 years serving this organization."

    The UN's "Children in Armed Conflict" report is a significant document that aims to highlight and address the plight of children affected by war and conflict worldwide. The addition of Israel to this list underscores the severe impact of the Gaza conflict on Palestinian children and brings international attention to the humanitarian crisis in the region.

    The Israeli military's actions in Gaza have been a subject of intense international scrutiny and debate. Human rights organizations and various UN bodies have repeatedly raised concerns about the disproportionate use of force and its devastating effects on civilians, particularly children. The latest decision by the UN adds a new layer of diplomatic tension between Israel and the international community.

    In defense of its actions, Israel has consistently argued that its military operations are aimed at neutralizing threats from militant groups in Gaza, particularly Hamas, which it accuses of using civilians, including children, as human shields. Israeli officials have emphasized their commitment to minimizing civilian casualties and have blamed Hamas for the high number of child deaths.

    The upcoming UN Security Council presentation and the subsequent publication of the "Children in Armed Conflict" report are expected to spark further debate and reactions from various international stakeholders. The report's findings and the inclusion of Israel on the blacklist are likely to influence global perceptions and diplomatic relations, potentially leading to calls for increased accountability and protective measures for children in conflict zones.

    As the international community awaits the official presentation of the report, the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire, with ongoing calls for a ceasefire and increased humanitarian aid to address the urgent needs of the affected population, especially children.

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