UN lists Israeli army for crimes against children

The Israeli military
The Israeli military

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has added the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to a global list of perpetrators of crimes against children, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced at a briefing on June 7, CNN reports.

Israel was informed that it is included in the list of the Secretary-General's annual report on children in armed conflict, which will be sent to the UN Security Council on June 14.

The list also includes the terrorist organizations Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to a diplomatic source.

Read also: Israel hits UN school in Gaza with missiles, killing at least 45 people – CNN

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan expressed outrage at the decision, calling the IDF "the most moral army in the world," CNN reports.

"The only one who is blacklisted today is the Secretary-General, whose decisions since the war started, and even before, are rewarding terrorists and incentivizing them to use children for terror acts… Shame on him!" the Israeli envoy said.

More than 15,500 children have been killed since the start of Hamas' attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, and the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in the enclave said earlier.

Read also: Netanyahu and Galant face ICC war crime charges, along with Hamas leaders

Accusing Israel of genocide in the Gaza Strip

On Dec. 29, South Africa appealed to the International Court of Justice to issue an urgent order declaring that Israel is in violation of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention.

South Africa has supported the Palestinian struggle for statehood in Israeli-occupied territories for decades, comparing the fate of Palestinians to that of the Black majority in South Africa during apartheid. Israel strongly denied this comparison.

Read also: Eight more Ukrainians safely evacuated from Gaza, 370 still waiting – Foreign Affairs Ministry

In January, Israel responded that it would appear before the International Court of Justice to challenge South Africa's accusations.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 11 that Israel was unlikely to stop fighting in Gaza as ordered by the International Court of Justice.

On March 25, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the unconditional release of hostages taken by Hamas during its attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

Israel announced it would resume ceasefire talks with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Bloomberg reported on May 23.

At the same time, the Israel Defense Forces entered the western neighborhoods of Rafah as part of its offensive on the city on the border with Egypt, causing global condemnation. Israel also took control of the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14-kilometer buffer zone on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

On June 2, senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ophir Falk, said Israel had approved a peace agreement to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip, proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden. The country can only agree to a limited 42-day ceasefire for the return of hostages.

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