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UN’s move to include Israel in list of nations harming children in conflict

The United Nations has decided to include Israel in its “blacklist” of countries accused of committing abuses against children in armed conflict.

The decision follows the ongoing assault by the Israeli military on the Gaza Strip, where thousands of Palestinian children have been killed.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, condemned the move as “outrageous and wrong,” asserting that Israel’s army is the most moral in the world and accusing the Secretary-General of incentivizing terrorism and harboring hatred towards Israel.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s spokesperson clarified that the notification to Israel was a courtesy before the official presentation of the annual “Children in Armed Conflict” report to the UN Security Council. The report compiles a list of parties violating children’s rights in armed conflicts, including killing, sexual violence, and attacks on schools and hospitals.

The decision to include Israel in the blacklist was welcomed by senior Palestinian officials, who argued that it was long overdue given the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where Israeli bombardment and siege have led to severe food poverty and a collapsing healthcare system.

Rights groups have condemned Israel’s actions, highlighting the high number of Palestinian children killed and injured and the dire consequences for their physical and psychological well-being.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, criticized the UN’s decision, defending the Israeli military as the most moral in the world and warning of consequences for Israel’s relations with the UN.

Despite the backlash, the inclusion of Israel in the blacklist may lead to international pressure and restrictions on arms sales to Israel, aiming to hold accountable parties involved in abuses against children in armed conflict.

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