Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday denounced the demands from United Nations chief Ban Ki Moon that the the lives of children in Gaza be protected as “hypocrisy.”
"This is a black day for the UN," Netanyahu said in a statement.
"Instead of pointing out the fact that Hamas made hostages of Gaza children when it fired from kindergartens ... the UN chooses once again to preach at Israel."
"Evidently there is no limit to hypocrisy," he added.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on Israel to commit to protecting the lives of Palestinian children, who suffered greatly from last year’s air strikes in Gaza and live under fear of detention by the Israeli army in the West Bank.
"Last year was one of the worst in recent memory for children in countries affected by conflict,” the UN chief said on Thursday, adding that he is “deeply alarmed at the suffering of so many children as a result of Israeli military operations in Gaza last year."
Ban’s comments followed a new UN report which describes the “challenges for children in conflict zones around the world.”
In July 2013, more than 500 children were killed after the Israeli army attacked Gaza.
During the air strikes several UN-run schools where thousands of Palestinians were sheltering were hit.
"I urge Israel to take concrete and immediate steps, including by reviewing existing policies and practices, to protect and prevent the killing and maiming of children, and to respect the special protections afforded to schools and hospitals," the UN chief said.
There are 100,000 internally displaced people in Gaza, many of whom are children.
Last year’s lethal air strikes in the territory killed more than 2,200 Palestinians.
Israel claims that it targeted facilities in Gaza storing Hamas rockets.
Israel has maintained a total blockade of Gaza since 2006, restricting the entrance of goods and building materials into the territory.
The Palestinians aim to create an independent state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, demanding Israel withdraw from the territories it occupied after the 1967 war between it and several Arab states.
Israel has illegally built hundreds of settlements on the land it occupied, turning a blind eye on objections from the United Nations.