Outcry as UN excludes Israel from 'child rights violators' list

Israel off ‘list of shame’ despite Gaza deaths

UN Excludes Israel from Child Rights Violators List

The evidence is overwhelming. The aftermath of much of the destruction and the deaths of children last summer in Gaza was recorded on video.

In total the United Nations said 540 children were killed. Yet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his annual report on children in armed conflict around the world to the Security Council, has not included Israel on the damning list of the countries and groups that kill children.

The UN on Monday released a "list of shame" of children's rights violators, reports Al Jazeera. And now Rights groups have called on Ban to add Israel to the list.

Ban decided that last year's list would remain unchanged but said he was "deeply alarmed" by the "grave violations suffered by children as a result of Israeli military operations in 2014."

UN officials said the UN special envoy for children in armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, recommended that both Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, be placed on the report's list of parties that recruit, use, kill, maim or commit acts of sexual violence against children.

But the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, said there were differences of opinion among those on the ground on whether Israel and Hamas should be listed.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric stressed that "the report is more than the list" and lays out concerns about the plight of children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor welcomed the decision, saying Ban "was right not to submit to the dictates of the terrorist organisations and the Arab states in his decision not to include Israel in this shameful list, together with organisations like [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant], Al-Qaeda and the Taliban."

Republicans in Congress had threatened to "reassess" the American relationship to the United Nations - code for cutting off funding - if Ban included Israel on the list.

The list of children's rights violators was released just two months after a UN inquiry found that the Israeli military was responsible for seven attacks on UN schools in Gaza that were used as shelters during the 2014 war.