UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon indicated that the international body would not include Israel in its list of entities committing “grave violations against children,” officials at the UN stated Friday.
According to Reuters, the officials said Ban is inclined to reject a recommendation by UN special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict Leila Zerrougui, who called to place both Israel and Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas on the list following the past summer’s 50-day war between the two sides. Zerrougui accused the IDF of carrying out attacks on schools and hospitals in the Strip during the war.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric stressed that Ban had not yet come to a final decision concerning Israel ahead of the scheduled publication of a report on the alleged violations.
The 50-day war is said to have killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, many of them civilians, according to Palestinian sources in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip; and 72 Israelis, mostly soldiers. Israel maintains that about half of the Palestinian dead were combatants and blames Hamas for all civilian casualties, since it embedded its war machine in residential areas.
Israel launched the operation in Gaza last summer in what it said was a mission to halt relentless rocket fire by Hamas terrorists. Hamas and other terror groups fired over 4,5000 projectiles at Israel during the war, and dug tunnels under the border to carry out attacks.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in a violent coup against the Palestinian Authority in 2007. An Islamist terror group, it is committed to destroying Israel.
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