Friday 7 June 2024

U.N. to Blacklist Israel — with Hamas — as Threat to Children; Netanyahu Responds: ‘Delusional’

 The United Nations (UN) is set to add Israel, and the Hamas terrorist group, to a blacklist of countries and groups that harm children — provoking an angry response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the decision “delusional.”

The move marks the second time in recent weeks that an international body has equated Hamas and Israel in condemnation, after the International Criminal Court announced that it would seek arrest warrants for Israeli officials as well as Hamas leaders for alleged war crimes during the conflict in Gaza.

The New York Times reported:

The United Nations will add Israel as well as Hamas to a list of countries and armed groups that harm children when it releases its annual report on children and armed conflict, citing the heavy toll the war in Gaza has taken on minors, including killing, maiming and starvation, U.N. officials said.

Reuters noted that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was personally responsible for the decision to blacklist Israel, and that the United Nations Security Council will review the listing next week:

The global list is included in a report on children and armed conflict that Guterres is due to submit to the U.N. Security Council on June 14.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the decision “will have consequences for Israel’s relations with the U.N.” Israel has long had contentious relationship with the U.N. that has only worsened during the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

“I am utterly shocked and disgusted by this shameful decision of the Secretary-General,” said Erdan. “Israel’s army is the most moral army in the world, so this immoral decision will only aid the terrorists and reward Hamas.”

Netanyahu responded in a statement Friday: “Today the UN added itself to the black list of history when it joined those who support the Hamas murderers. The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] is the most moral army in the world; no delusional UN decision will change that.”

Israel has had a poor relationship with Guterres, whom it has accused of ignoring the alleged involvement of UN personnel in terror. Israel called for Guterres to resign months ago.

It is unclear how the Biden administration will respond to the report once it is presented to the UN Security Council next Friday.

Update: Erdan has caused consternation at the UN by releasing a video of his phone call with UN officials, who had contacted him to inform him that Israel was being blacklisted.

The Times of Israel reported that a UN spokesperson called the publication of the video of the conversation “shocking.”

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