UN urged to blacklist Israeli army for 'killing children'

UN urged to blacklist Israeli army for 'killing children'
Humanitarian groups call for Israel and ten others to be added to a blacklist of parties responsible for serious violations against children.
2 min read
03 March, 2017
Israel escaped being blacklisted in 2014 after aggressive lobbying alongside the US [Anadolu]
A group of humanitarian organisations has urged United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to add the Israeli Defence Forces to a blacklist of groups and countries that have committed grave violations against children.

The recommendation comes with the release of the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict's annual report, which precedes the UN's publishing of the blacklist in summer.

"The new secretary-general has an opportunity to send a clear message to all member states that a party to conflict is listed for one reason alone – a pattern of documented, United Nations-verified evidence of grave violations against children," said Dragica Mikavica, advocacy officer for the organisation.

The Watchlist, which has recommended the IDF for blacklisting since 2005, focussed on Israel's brutal 2014 war on Gaza in its report.

"In his 2016 annual report on children and armed conflict covering the period of January 1 to December 31, 2015, the secretary-general reported that 27 Palestinian children [23 boys and 4 girls] were killed in the West Bank, almost double the number killed in 2014," the report said.

It added that "the number of injuries to Palestinian children also increased, mostly due to clashes with Israeli forces and military-led operations".

In total, Watchlist recommended 11 groups for blacklisting, including Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi milita and the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

It also suggested that other parties, including the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas' Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, be investigated for potential blacklisting in the future.

In 2015, Israel escaped blacklisting by the UN after lobbying alongside the US.

Saudi Arabia similarly forced the UN to rescind a decision to put the Arab coalition in Yemen on the list for killing hundreds of children in its ongoing military campaign.

The oil-rich kingdom and its allies threatened to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars UN over its initial decision.