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Israel, Hamas, Sudan Rivals On UN List For Killing Children

A HAMAS flag flies in Jenin, the West Bank, last month, amid a Palestinian protest against activity by Israeli security forces (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) via TJP

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Tuesday, reportedly named and shamed Israel’s armed and security forces, Palestinian Hamas 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 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”.

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% increase in grave violations,” the report read.

“The number of instances of killing and maiming increased by a staggering 35%.”

“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.

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