Netanyahu condemns UN decision to label Israeli military a child-harming entity 

World News

By Bill Pan 
Contributing Writer 

The United Nations is placing the Israel Defense Forces on a list of offenders that have committed violations against children, a decision the Israeli government denounced as “shameful.” 

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said Israel will be added to the list as part of the international organization’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict. The report is set to be presented to the U.N. Security Council on Friday and officially published on Tuesday. 

Dujarric said that Israel’s U.N. envoy was notified about Israel’s inclusion on the list as a courtesy, as afforded to any country named in the annual update. “It is done to give those countries a heads-up and avoid leaks,” he said at the daily press briefing on June 7. 

Dujarric declined to confirm or deny whether the list will also include Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the two Gaza-based terrorist groups responsible for last October’s mass killing and kidnapping of civilians in southern Israel. 

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador who last month destroyed a copy of the U.N. charter with a tiny shredder in front of the U.N. General Assembly, described the move as “shameful.” 

“This is simply outrageous and wrong because Hamas has been using children for terrorism and uses schools and hospitals as military compounds,” Erdan wrote in a post on X, alongside a video clip showing him responding to the call from Guterres’ office. 

“This immoral decision will only aid the terrorist and reward Hamas,” he said in the video, adding that the IDF is “the most moral army in the world.” 

Erdan accused the top U.N. official of “incentivizing” Hamas fighters to keep embedding themselves in civilian facilities. “This shameful decision will only give Hamas hope to survive and will only extend the war and suffering.” 

Dujarric criticized Erdan’s social media response. 

“Ambassador Erdan’s video recording of that phone call and the partial release of that recording on Twitter, is shocking and unacceptable and, frankly, something that I’ve never seen in my 24 years serving this organization,” he told reporters on June 7. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also took to X to defend the IDF, writing that it “is the most moral military in the world.” 

“The U.N. put itself today on history’s black list when it adopted the absurd claims of Hamas,” he wrote. 

In defense of the upcoming children-in-war-zone report, Dujarric said it is based on a “very well-established, transparent methodology.” 

“Taking a step back, I think the secretary-general has been very clear in speaking out since 7 October on issues of violations of international law, on issues of violation of human rights, which includes the condemning of the terror attacks by Hamas,” he said. 

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