RAMALLAH, June 10, 2015 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat said the Palestinian Authority was extremely disappointed by the decision of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to exclude Israel from the list of countries that commit grave violations against children in armed conflict.
In a statement to the press issued Wednesday, Erekat maintained that Israel’s “belligerent military occupation in Palestine, has shown through the years, a total disregard for the lives and rights of our people, including children”.
“We don’t have to remind the Secretary General of the reports made by several UN organizations on the matter, just as those made by Palestinian, Israeli and other international human rights organizations thoroughly outlining Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians, including children,” he said.
“By excluding Tel Aviv from the list, Israel, the occupying power, is now encouraged to continue its ongoing violations against the Palestinian people under occupation and particularly against children.”
Erekat recalled Israel’s arrests of children and the practice of psychological and physical torture as examples to its violation of child rights.
He noted that since 2000, more than 8000 children have been arrested by Israeli forces and that in 2014 alone, Israel killed more than 500 minors in its assault on Gaza, “accentuating the dire situation of this particularly vulnerable group under a brutal and belligerent occupation.”
“Only today, occupation forces killed Ezzeddine Bani Ghara, 20 years old, at the Jenin Refugee Camp in a new Israeli military aggression.”
The chief Palestinian negotiator added that since the beginning of the year 18 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, which at the same time 521 Palestinians have been injured and 2107 arrested. Since January 2015, he added, Israeli forces conducted 2418 military raids in the occupied State of Palestine and demolished 48 Palestinian homes.
“The decision of UN Secretary General is wrong, tasteless and unperceptive. The international community must cease avoiding its responsibilities in holding Israel accountable. Only justice will bring about a just and lasting peace.”