newsIsrael at War

Israel and Hamas both on UN’s annual ‘list of shame’

Guterres says he is “appalled by the dramatic increase and unprecedented scale and intensity” of attacks on children in the Israel-Hamas war.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Town Hall Meeting with Civil Society on the occasion of the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, March 13, 2024. Credit: Mark Garten/U.N. Photo.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Town Hall Meeting with Civil Society on the occasion of the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, March 13, 2024. Credit: Mark Garten/U.N. Photo.

The head of the United Nations has blacklisted both the Israeli military and Hamas, including them for the first time on his annual list of perpetrators that harm children during conflict.

“I am appalled by the dramatic increase and unprecedented scale and intensity of grave violations against children in the Gaza Strip, Israel” and Judea and Samaria, wrote António Guterres in his yearly report, which was sent to U.N. Security Council members on Tuesday and viewed by JNS ahead of its publication on Thursday.

Guterres’s special representative for children and armed conflict, Virginia Gamba, carries a Security Council mandate to monitor, prevent and report on such violations.

The report, known as the “list of shame,” is intended to embarrass those so designated into performing corrective action with regards to their alleged violations against children, including killing, maiming, recruitment, abduction, sexual violence, denial of humanitarian assistance and attacks against schools and hospitals.

Guterres blacklisted the Israeli military and security forces, Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and affiliated factions and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades.

In the report viewed by JNS, covering the 2023 calendar year, the United Nations said it verified 8,009 grave violations against Israeli and Palestinian children, but the verification process has been hampered due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. 

Of the verified violations, 113 were against Israeli children, with most child casualties in Gaza since Israel’s military response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, caused by “the use of explosive weapons in populated areas by Israeli armed and security forces.”

Israeli officials have expressed indignation at being included on the list, which has typically featured designated terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda or other Islamic fundamentalist groups like the Taliban.

Israel was informed last Friday that it would be included on this year’s list, with Gilad Erdan, the Jewish state’s U.N. ambassador, telling Guterres’s chief of staff during the so-called courtesy call that he was “utterly shocked and disgusted by this shameful decision of the secretary-general,” adding that Israel’s placement on the list rewards Hamas, which uses children and other civilians as human shields and recruits soldiers of minor age.

Erdan later published a recording of his remarks during the call, drawing criticism from Guterres’s office.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last Friday that “the U.N. added itself to the blacklist of history when it joined those who support the Hamas murderers,” adding, “The IDF is the most moral army in the world. No delusional U.N. decision will change that.”

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