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Palestine prime minister urges UN to put Israel back on list of children's rights abusers

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has urged United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to put Israel back on the annual list of groups violating children’s rights against the backdrop of the Israeli war in May on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The premier of the Palestinian Authority (PA) made the call on Monday, during a weekly cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the seat of the PA, the Arabic-language Rai al-Youm news website reported.

“Israel does not stop killing our children, the last of whom was Ahmed Bani Shamsa, a child from the village of Beita (northern West Bank), who lost his life after being shot in the head by Israeli fire on Thursday,” Shtayyeh said.

“We call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, who has held Israel responsible for its violations against our children, to include the occupying regime on the blacklist of countries and groups violating the rights of children and to hold it accountable for its crimes,” the Palestinian premier said.

His remarks came hours after the Palestinian Foreign Ministry criticized, in a statement, the UN for leaving Israel off the annual blacklist of parties responsible for grave violations against children.

It stressed that ignoring the regime’s crimes would guarantee impunity for the child-killing entity.

“The UN’s non-inclusion of the Zionist regime in the blacklist of governments and groups violating children’s rights in armed conflicts is a move in favor of the killer and in support of the criminals of the Zionist army and its terrorist settlers, and it would guarantee their escape from punishment,” the ministry said.

It said the UN action puts its reports at risk of “invalidity” and “dishonesty,” as well as skepticism about the principles on which the UN is based.

In a recent report, Guterres called on Israeli authorities to reduce army operations against children and guarantee punishment in all cases where children are killed, but he decided not to blacklist the regime for violating children’s rights in occupied Palestine.

Tel Aviv launched the bombing campaign against Gaza on May 10. The trigger was violent raids by Israelis on worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque, which had prompted retaliation by the Palestinian resistance front. Against the backdrop of all this was the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Apparently caught off guard by the unprecedented barrage of rockets from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 260 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli offensive, including over 60 children.

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