After broad lobbying effort, UN leaves Israel off child-killer ‘list of shame’

After broad lobbying effort, UN leaves Israel off child-killer ‘list of shame’

(June 23, 2023 / JNS)

Following a lobbying campaign by Israeli officials, the United Nations left the Jewish State off of its list intended to shame nations, whose armed forces do harm to large numbers of children.

The United Nations distributed its annual report on the treatment of children in conflict zones to members of the U.N. Security Council on June 22. It is expected to release the report publicly on June 27.

Israel has never been listed, but Palestinians and their allies pressured U.N. officials to flag the Jewish State this year, after it received a 2021 warning.

In recent weeks, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented Israel’s case that the United Nations was using flawed or otherwise misleading facts and figures.

Last month, Erdan and Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, IDF coordinator of government activities in the territories, shared evidence with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres that some rockets which Arab terror organizations shot at Israel fell short and killed or injured children in Gaza.

The two also showed the secretary-general that some of the minors from Palestinian Authority-controlled territories were killed after they committed acts of terror and were tied directly to terror organizations in Judea and Samaria.

Guterres also received examples of the Palestinian Authority’s incitement—on social media and in schools—which lead to higher incidences of terror attacks by Arab minors, and of the civil, life-improving projects Israel attempts to run on behalf of Palestinian Authority residents.

“The continuous stream of information from high-level security officials to the diplomatic outreach did seem to yield results in this case,” an Erdan spokesman told JNS.

As part of the outreach, Erdan wrote a May 19 letter to Virginia Gamba, U.N. under-secretary-general and Guterres’ special representative for children and armed conflict who largely authors the report.

In the letter, which JNS viewed, Erdan noted the extensive damage to Palestinian children due to Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s aggression against Israel earlier that month, including firing more than 1,400 rockets toward Israel, killing an Israeli civilian and injuring several more.

“Not only does the Palestinian Islamic Jihad target Israeli civilians in its attacks, it also continues to use its own population and civilian infrastructure to carry out their attacks, children in particular,” Erdan wrote. “According to our records, roughly one of every five rockets fired by the PIJ in this operation misfired and fell in Gaza. On May 10th, such misfired rockets caused the death of at least two Palestinian children: Yazan Alian, 16-years-old, and Lian Luhe, 8-years-old.”

Rockets are fired from Gaza towards Israel, May 10, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

Erdan also noted that PIJ rocket fire led to a shuttering of the Erez Crossing at the Israel-Gaza border.

“The humanitarian crossing of Palestinians, including minors, for medical treatment, was forced to close due to the launch of dozens of mortars and rockets towards the area adjacent to it, causing undue delays to Palestinian civilians, who were intended to cross,” Erdan wrote.

Erdan and his staff also shared with Gamba a video showing evidence that Israel called off or modified numerous strikes on Gazan terror targets “due to the presence of civilians, including children, adjacent to targets.”

Russia was placed on the blacklist this year, along with affiliated groups, which marked the first time a permanent U.N. Security Council member was flagged. 

The U.N. report also condemns violence against children in the Congo, Haiti, Somalia, Syria and other countries.

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