World News

UN Chief to Declare That Israel and Hamas Are Violating Children’s Rights in War

In a move that is likely to heighten tensions between Israel and the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres is set to add Israel to a list of states and militias that violate children’s rights and put them in harm’s way. The list, which is submitted annually to the Security Council, has previously included groups such as the Kachin Independence Army in Myanmar and Russian forces in Ukraine.

According to a UN report, both Israel and Hamas have been accused of perpetrating violence against children, including killing and maiming, rape, and attacks on schools and hospitals. The inclusion of Israel on the list is likely to put a global spotlight on the country’s conduct in the war in Gaza and further strain its relationship with the UN.

Israel has reacted with outrage to the decision, with UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan berating the head of Guterres’ office in a phone call and posting a video of the exchange on social media. Erdan accused the UN of giving Hamas “hope to survive and extend the war and extend the suffering.” Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour welcomed the move, saying it was an “important step in the right direction.”

The move comes as the conflict in Gaza continues to escalate, with UN agencies warning that over 1 million Palestinians in Gaza could experience extreme starvation by next month if hostilities continue. The World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization have reported that hunger is worsening due to heavy restrictions on humanitarian access and the collapse of the local food system.

Despite international criticism over civilian casualties in Gaza, Israel has maintained that it has done enough to prevent them. However, recent airstrikes have killed dozens of civilians, and questions remain about Israel’s tactics in the eight-month-old war. The UN’s decision to add Israel to the list of states violating children’s rights is likely to increase pressure on the country to change its approach.

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