HRW: Put Israel on Child Rights Violators List

Human Rights Watch urges UN chief to resist pressure and add Israel to an annual "List of Shame" of children's rights violators.

Elad Benari ,

The United Nations General Assembly
The United Nations General Assembly

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to add Israel to an annual "List of Shame" of children's rights violators, AFP reported, citing more than 500 children killed in the war in Gaza last year.

The group called on Ban to resist pressure from Israel and the United States to keep the Israeli Defense Forces off the list due to be released next week.

"Secretary-General Ban can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, not political pressure," said Philippe Bolopion, crisis advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, according to AFP.

A draft of the report released last week by Ban's special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, included the IDF for incidents including attacks on schools and hospitals in Gaza war last year.

It was later reported that Ban was leaning toward not including Israel on the list due to lobbying from Israel.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that Ban had not yet made a decision on whether to include Israel in the report, while Israel's foreign ministry denied pressuring the UN chief.

Human Rights Watch is also calling for the Hamas terrorist group to be included on the list as well as armed groups in Pakistan, Thailand and India for serious violations including attacks on schools and the recruitment of child soldiers.

A UN inquiry published in April said Israeli soldiers had fired on seven UN schools during the Gaza war, killing 44 Palestinians who were sheltered at some of the sites, while Palestinian terrorists hid weapons and launched attacks from several empty UN schools.

Despite the accusations by the UN, a detailed study after last year’s Operation Protective Edge proved that 49% of the casualties in Gaza were terrorists, meaning the IDF achieved a 1:1 civilian to combatant ratio almost unprecedented in urban warfare.