Israeli forces and Saudi Arabia commit grave violations against children, say human rights organisations

A global network of human rights and humanitarian organisations – The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict – has called on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to list a number of parties, including Saudi Arabia and the Israeli army, as grave violators of children’s rights in the Secretary-General’s upcoming 2017 annual report on children and armed conflict.

The Watchlist’s 2017 annual report draws attention to attacks carried out by Saudi-led coalition forces that have launched “numerous” attacks against schools and hospitals in Yemen, which have subsequently killed and maimed children in a “continued pattern of attacks”.

The Israeli forces have carried out a number of violations in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, the report states.

In his 2016 annual report on children and armed conflict the Secretary-General said that in 2015 27 Palestinian children were killed in the West Bank, which is almost double the number killed in 2014. Of these, 25 were killed by the Israeli army, one by settlers and one by both. Israeli forces killed three Palestinian children and injured sixty-five in the Gaza Strip.

The annual report also raised concerns over the excessive use of force and unlawful killing of Palestinian children – who posed no imminent threat to life to justify this use of lethal force – including on 25 October 2015 when a 17-year-old girl was stopped at a checkpoint in Hebron, searched, and shot 5 times.

In 2015 the US government pressured then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon not to list Israeli forces and were successful. In 2016 Saudi Arabia lobbied Ban Ki-moon to remove the Saudi-led coalition and their indiscriminate attacks in Yemen from the list and were again successful.

Other parties mentioned included on The Watchlist’s 2017 recommendations of parties who had committed grave violations against children were the Popular Mobilisation Forces in Iraq and various armed groups in Libya.

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Source: Middle East Monitor

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