PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Saeb Erekat in a statement expressed disappointment by the decision of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon to exclude Israel from the list of countries that commit grave violations against children in armed conflict.
“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,” Erekat said.
Erekat added that 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.
“Israel arrests children as young as 5 years old, subjects them to various forms of psychological and physical torture. Since 2000, more than 8000 children have been arrested by Israeli forces. In 2014, Israel has 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,” he continued.
Only today, occupation forces killed Ezzeddine Bhani Ghara, 20 years old, at the Jenin Refugee Camp in a new Israeli military aggression. Since the beginning of the year 18 Palestinians have been killed by the action of Israel. At the same time 521 Palestinians have been injured and 2107 arrested. Since January 2015 Israeli Forces have conducted 2418 military raids in the occupied State of Palestine and demolished 48 Palestinian homes.
Erekat concluded by saying that the decision of the UN Secretary General was “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.”