Israel, Hamas, Sudan rivals added to UN list for killing children

A man buries his child who was killed in overnight Israeli air strikes on the Moammar home, at a cemetery in east Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on February 26, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas movement. (AFP)
A man buries his child who was killed in overnight Israeli air strikes on the Moammar home, at a cemetery in east Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on February 26, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas movement. (AFP)
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Updated 12 June 2024
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Israel, Hamas, Sudan rivals added to UN list for killing children

Israel, Hamas, Sudan rivals added to UN list for killing children
  • Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza since then has killed more than 37,000 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry
  • There were 371 verified attacked on schools and hospitals in 2023, of which Israel’s forces were responsible for 340, according to the report

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday named and shamed Israel’s armed and security forces, Palestinian militants Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and Sudan’s warring parties for killing and maiming children in 2023, adding them to an annual global list of offenders for violations against children.
In a report to the UN Security Council — seen by Reuters — Guterres also called out the armed forces of Israel and Sudan for attacking schools and hospitals and Hamas and Islamic Jihad for abducting children.
The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, who have been fighting the Sudanese armed forces since April last year, was also named for recruiting and using children, committing rape and other sexual violence and attacking schools and hospitals.




Palestinians take control of an Israeli Merkava battle tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (AFP)

The report, compiled by Guterres’ envoy for children and armed conflict Virginia Gamba, covers six grave violations — killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, recruitment and use, denial of aid and attacks of schools and hospitals.
The list attached to the report aims to shame parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to implement measures to protect children. It only reports on violations verified by the United Nations.
“In 2023, violence against cildren in armed conflict reached exreme levels, with a shocking 21 percent increase in grave violations,” the report read. “The number of instances of killing and maiming increased by a staggering 35 percent.”




Sudanese soldiers from the Rapid Support Forces unit, led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. (AP file photo)

“The highest numbers of grave violations were verified in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Nigeria and Sudan,” found the report, describing verification as “extremely challenging.”
Russia’s armed forces and affiliated groups stayed on the list, after being added last year, for killing and maiming children in Ukraine and attacking schools and hospitals.
Russia’s UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Moscow has denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine in 2022.

GAZA, SUDAN, UKRAINE
Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan said on Friday he had been notified that Israel’s military had been added to the list, describing the decision as “shameful.” Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad could not immediately be reached for comment.




Palestinian father Ashraf holds one of his two daughters after they were both killed in an overnight Israeli air strike, on April 4, 2024 at al-Najar hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. (AFP)

The report attributed 5,698 violations to Israel’s armed and security forces, 116 to Hamas and 21 to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The UN verified the killing of 2,267 Palestinian children — most in Gaza between Oct. 7 and Dec. 31 — but said the process of determining attribution was ongoing, adding: “Most incidents were caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas by Israeli armed and security forces.”
So far, it said Israel’s armed and security forces were responsible for killing 206 children. The UN verified 136 violations against Israeli children, attributing 116 to Hamas.
There were 371 verified attacked on schools and hospitals in 2023, of which Israel’s forces were responsible for 340, according to the report. The UN also verified five instances of military use of ambulances by Israeli forces and one case where Hamas had used a health center for military purposes.




Youths ride scooters past destroyed Russian military equipment on Mykhailivska Square in the center of Kyiv on June 11, 2024, amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine. (AFP)

Israel is retaliating against Hamas over an Oct. 7 attack by its militants. More than 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, according to Israeli tallies. More than 100 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.
Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza since then has killed more than 37,000 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Thousands more are feared buried dead under rubble, with most of the 2.3 million population displaced.
In Sudan, the UN verified 1,721 violations — including the killing of 480 and maiming of 764, most during crossfire between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces. It also verfied 85 attacks on schools and hospitals.
Sexual violence was verified against 114 girls in Sudan, of which the UN said the RSF was responsible for 57 cases.
Sudan’s armed forces and the RSF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In Ukraine, the UN verified the killing of 80 children and maiming of 339 — of those it said Russian forces were responsible for killing 59 and maiming 228.
It also attributed 249 attacks on schools and hospitals to Russian forces and 70 such attacks to the Ukrainian armed forces, who also used two schools and one hospital for military purposes.

 


Israeli strike kills 4 aid workers in Gaza ‘safe zone,’ UK-based group says

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Israeli strike kills 4 aid workers in Gaza ‘safe zone,’ UK-based group says

Israeli strike kills 4 aid workers in Gaza ‘safe zone,’ UK-based group says
The strike also killed three staffers from other aid groups using the warehouse, the Al-Khair foundation said
The warehouse was located in Muwasi, an area on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast that is part of a “humanitarian safe zone” where Israeli has told Palestinians to take refuge

GAZA: A UK-based aid group said one of its employees in Gaza was killed Friday in an Israeli strike that hit its warehouse located inside an Israeli-declared humanitarian safe zone. The strike also killed three staffers from other aid groups using the warehouse, the Al-Khair foundation said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.
The Israeli army did not immediately respond to AP’s request for comment on Friday’s strike.
The warehouse was located in Muwasi, an area on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast that is part of a “humanitarian safe zone” where Israeli has told Palestinians to take refuge.
After a two-week Israeli offensive in northern Gaza, dozens of bodies were collected throughout Gaza City’s Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood and brought to Al-Ahli Hospital on Friday morning. Civil defense workers said they were still recovering dead and wounded from destroyed streets and buildings.
Israel launched the war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 38,300 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.
Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crammed into squalid tent camps in central and southern Gaza. Israeli restrictions, fighting and the breakdown of law and order have limited humanitarian aid efforts, causing widespread hunger and sparking fears of famine. The top United Nations court has ordered Israel to take steps to protect Palestinians as it examines genocide allegations against Israeli leaders. Israel denies the charge.



A UK-based aid group said one of its employees in Gaza was killed Friday in an Israeli strike that hit its warehouse located inside an Israeli-declared humanitarian safe zone. (AFP)

More than half a million children in Gaza missing out on vital education amid Israeli-Hamas war: UNRWA

More than half a million children in Gaza missing out on vital education amid Israeli-Hamas war: UNRWA
Updated 19 min 55 sec ago
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More than half a million children in Gaza missing out on vital education amid Israeli-Hamas war: UNRWA

More than half a million children in Gaza missing out on vital education amid Israeli-Hamas war: UNRWA
  • 600,000 children had been unable to attend school this year because of the ongoing Israeli-Hamas war

LONDON: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees warned on Friday that the Gaza Strip was on the verge of “losing an entire generation of children” due to the ongoing Israeli aggression, now in its 10th month.

The organization said that more than 600,000 children had been unable to attend school this year because of the ongoing Israeli-Hamas war raging in the enclave. 

UNRWA added it would be extremely difficult for children to recover the education they have missed out on since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel and the subsequent Israeli retaliation.

It also noted that two-thirds of its schools in Gaza had been destroyed, while the rest had been converted into shelters for hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians.

Statistics from the Hamas-run Palestinian Ministry of Health assert that approximately 16,000 children have died in Israeli bombings or from illness, famine and malnutrition since the start of the Israeli aggression. 

A letter penned by three experts published in the Lancet medical journal earlier this week said the number of children who might have died in the conflict could be much higher, with thousands of children believed to be trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings.


UN court to give view on consequences of Israel occupation

UN court to give view on consequences of Israel occupation
Updated 12 July 2024
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UN court to give view on consequences of Israel occupation

UN court to give view on consequences of Israel occupation
  • Any opinion delivered by the International Court of Justice would be non-binding, but it will come amid mounting international legal pressure on Israel
  • "A public sitting will take place at the Peace Palace in The Hague ... during which Judge Nawaf Salam... will read out the Advisory Opinion," the ICJ said

THE HAGUE: The UN's top court will next week hand down its view on the legal consequences of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967, a case in which some 52 countries made submissions.
Any opinion delivered by the International Court of Justice would be non-binding, but it will come amid mounting international legal pressure on Israel over the war in Gaza sparked by the brutal October 7 Hamas attacks.
"A public sitting will take place at the Peace Palace in The Hague (on July 19) ... during which Judge Nawaf Salam... will read out the Advisory Opinion," the ICJ said on Friday.
The ICJ held a week-long session in February to hear submissions from countries following a request from the United Nations late last year.
The UN has asked the ICJ to hand down an "advisory opinion" on the "legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem".
Most speakers during the hearings have demanded that Israel end its occupation, which came after a six-day Arab-Israeli war in 1967.
But the United States said Israel should not be legally obliged to withdraw without taking its "very real security needs" into account.
Speakers also warned a prolonged occupation posed an "extreme danger" to stability in the Middle East and beyond.
Israel did not take part in the oral hearings.
It submitted a written contribution, in which it described the questions the court had been asked as "prejudicial" and "tendentious".
The case before the court is separate from one brought by South Africa against Israel for alleged genocide during its current offensive in Gaza.
South Africa has gone to the ICJ several times arguing that the dire humanitarian situation means the court should issue further fresh emergency measures.
In an initial ruling on January 26, the ICJ ordered Israel to do everything it could to prevent acts of genocide during its military operation in Gaza.
It also called for the unconditional release of hostages taken by Palestinian militant group Hamas during its October 7 assault that sparked the war.


Israel’s security cabinet extends military service: report

Israel’s security cabinet extends military service: report
Updated 12 July 2024
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Israel’s security cabinet extends military service: report

Israel’s security cabinet extends military service: report
  • The 36-month rule will stay in force for the next eight years
  • Israel is planning to send draft notices to thousands of ultra-Orthodox seminary students

JERUSALEM: The Israeli government’s security cabinet has approved a plan to extend compulsory military service for men to 36 months from the current 32 months, Israel’s Ynet news outlet reported on Friday.
The 36-month rule will stay in force for the next eight years, Ynet reported, after a meeting of the security cabinet that took place late on Thursday.
The measure is likely to be submitted to a vote in a meeting of the full cabinet on Sunday, it said.
Israel’s military commanders have said they need to boost manpower so they can sustain the war with the Hamas militant group in Gaza and a confrontation with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia.
In a separate initiative, Israel is planning to send draft notices to thousands of ultra-Orthodox seminary students who were previously exempt from military service.


Hamas calls for independent Palestinian government in post-war Gaza

Hamas calls for independent Palestinian government in post-war Gaza
Updated 27 min 23 sec ago
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Hamas calls for independent Palestinian government in post-war Gaza

Hamas calls for independent Palestinian government in post-war Gaza
  • Negotiations occurring in Doha, Qatar and Cairo with aim of bringing about ceasefire in Gaza
  • Netanyahu demanded Israel retain control of Philadelphi corridor along border with Egypt

GAZA: Hamas is suggesting during ceasefire negotiations that an independent government of non-partisan figures run post-war Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a member of the Palestinian Islamist movement’s political bureau said Friday.
“We proposed that a non-partisan national competency government manage Gaza and the West Bank after the war,” Hossam Badran said in a statement about the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas with mediation from Qatar, Egypt, and the United States.
“The administration of Gaza after the war is a Palestinian internal matter without any external interference, and we will not discuss the day after the war in Gaza with any external parties,” Badran added.
A Hamas official told AFP the proposal for a non-partisan government was made “with the mediators.”
The government will “manage the affairs of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in the initial phase after the war, paving the way for general elections” said the official, who did not want his name disclosed.
Badran’s remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Israel retain control of the Philadelphi corridor, Gaza territory along the border with Egypt. This condition conflicts with Hamas’s position that Israel must withdraw from all Gaza territory after a ceasefire.
Netanyahu said on Thursday that control of the Philadelphi corridor is part of efforts to prevent “weapons to be smuggled to Hamas from Egypt.”
The negotiations are occurring in Doha, Qatar and Cairo, Egypt with the aim of bringing about a ceasefire in Gaza as well as the return of hostages still held there by Hamas.
The war began on Oct. 7 with Hamas’s unprecedented attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 42 the military says are dead.
Israel responded with a military offensive that has killed at least 38,345 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza