UN Secretary General leaves Israel off blacklist

UN Secretary General Ban leaves Israel off children’s rights blacklist despite recommendation from special representative for children

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  kept Israel out of a blacklist, known as the ‘’List of Shame,’’ showing countries that violate children’s rights.

Leila Zerrougui, Ban’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, recommended that Israel should be on the blacklist.

UN sources said Ban’s decision to overrule her recommendation was unusual, adding that Israel lobbied Ban hard not to be added in the blacklist, although Israel denied the claims of pressuring him.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said Israel should not be listed alongside groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda and Taliban.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon alleged Israel took all possible steps to protect civilians.

Still, Ban criticised Israel for violating children’s rights in an ‘’unprecedented and unacceptable scale’’ during the 51-day ‘’Operation Protective Edge’’ in last July and August.

On the other hand, Hamas, political party in Gaza, is also left off the list. Its spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum criticized the UN for leaving Israel off the list and for equating his faction, which he says defending the Palestinians against Israeli "state terror,’’ with Israel.

Last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) insisted on him to resist pressure from Israel and its allies to not put the Jewish state in the blacklist.

UN director for the rights watchdog, Philippe Bolopion, said “Secretary General Ban can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, not political pressure.’’

In July and August 2014, Israel launched the 51-day “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza Strip and killed more than 2,100 people, mostly women and children and injured another 11,000.

According to an UN inquiry, Israel bombed seven UN schools and killed 44 Palestinians who had sought shelter.

The UN report that blacklists groups or armed forces that harm children by using, killing or maiming and commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, or attacks schools and/or hospitals, says 710 children were killed in Afghanistan, 679 in Iraq, 557 Palestinian children died, 368 in Syria and 197 in Sudan’s Darfur.

TRTWorld and agencies