By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel has reportedly “expressed fears that this inclusion could lead to an arms embargo against the country.”

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has informed the Israeli military forces’ Attaché in the United States, Major General Hidai Zilberman, of his decision to include Israel in the blacklist of countries and organizations harming children in conflict zones, according to Israeli media.

This list also features groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram, the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper reported on Friday, as cited by the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA.

“All of Israel’s efforts to convince Guterres to avoid the step were unsuccessful, and Israel will appear on the list to be published next week,” a report by the Israel National News website stated.

The report stated that “sources familiar with the matter said that it was a lost battle.”

“The current Secretary-General hates Israel – and it is impossible to influence him. Israel’s inclusion in the blacklist is very problematic and may cause countries in the world to impose an arms embargo on Israel,” the sources were quoted as saying.

The name of the state of Israel “will not be explicitly mentioned in the report, but it will be written that the ‘Israeli security forces’ are responsible for the situation.”

Critical Statements

Last month, Yedioth Ahronoth and its online platform Ynet revealed genuine concerns within Israel about this move, following multiple critical statements from Guterres against Israel, reported WAFA. “The sources claimed that the current UN Secretary-General harbors a dislike for Israel and is beyond influence,” it said.

Israel “has expressed fears that this inclusion could lead to an arms embargo against the country,” WAFA emphasized.

The annual report, authored by UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba, will reportedly cover all of 2023, with a notable increase in incidents due to the war on Gaza that began in October.

Previously, the blacklist included countries like Afghanistan, Congo, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and organizations such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram.

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Field Sources

According to WAFA, the data in the report is based on information from UN organizations and field sources.

It said that the Israeli daily noted that the consequences of being blacklisted include “significant reputational damage to Israel as the report gains substantial international traction and is cited across UN bodies, including the General Assembly, Security Council, International Court of Justice, and International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

Practically, inclusion on the blacklist results in dedicated reports concerning the listed entity, WAFA said, adding that the Special Representative’s office will compile specific reports on Israel, which will later be presented to the Security Council.

It noted that the draft report received by Israel months ago includes several criticisms, such as “the use of large-scale bombs in occupied areas, severe blockades on Gaza, attacks on critical infrastructure, attempts to recruit minors as informants, and using children as human shields.”

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Call by Hamas

In a statement on Tuesday, Hamas called on the United Nations “to include the (Israeli) occupation in the blacklist of entities committing crimes against children.”

It said this year’s International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression “comes as the zionist aggression against our Palestinian people continues in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and occupied Al-Quds, ongoing for more than seven months,” Hamas stressed.

“During this period, this fascist entity has committed the most heinous crimes and horrific massacres against the Palestinian people, especially innocent children who have been and continue to be direct targets of this Nazi entity’s terrorism and criminality.”

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Children in Prison

Hamas highlighted that in Israeli prisons, “more than 200 Palestinian children, most of them school students, are subjected to the most brutal punitive and vengeful policies,” with 20 of them from the Gaza Strip.

They suffer from various forms of beatings, harsh interrogations, physical and psychological torture, daily mistreatment, deliberate medical negligence, and are denied visits from family, healthcare teams, and human rights and humanitarian organizations.”

The movement said this day should remind the United Nations “of the suffering and pain of Palestinian children, both within Palestine and in refugee camps and the diaspora,” adding that “It should place a legal, moral, and humanitarian responsibility on them to put an end to the ongoing severe violations and horrific crimes committed by the zionist occupation against Palestinian children.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Education has said that more than 15,000 children have been killed since the start of Israel’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, the majority of them schoolchildren. This is in addition to 64 students from schools in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

The statements marked the International Day of Innocent Child Victims of Aggression held on June 4.

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Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,731 Palestinians have been killed, and 83,530 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.


The post ‘A Lost Battle’ – Guterres to Include Israel on Blacklist for Harming Children in Conflict Zones appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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