The United Nation's report on children and armed conflict is “inaccurate" and biased against Israel, said Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to the UN.
The UN Security Council is set to discuss the report Thursday, a prime feature of which, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was “the unprecedented and unacceptable scale of the impact on children in 2014 raises grave concerns about Israel's compliance with international humanitarian law … (and) excessive use of force.”
In response, Prosor said that the UN had missed a great deal of information in the report, which was prepared by Leila Zerrougui of Algeria.
Prosor said that she had colluded with anti-Israel groups to prepare a biased report that ignored the abuse of Hamas against civilians, including children, during last summer's Operation Protective Edge – failing to include even evidence confirmed by the UN itself of how Hamas used the organization's schools at launching sites for Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.
Zerrougi, said Prosor, had “repeatedly refused attempts on our part to provide official evidence and facts” when preparing the report.
Israel, in fact, was not even informed that the UN was preparing such a report, and was not given an official opportunity to respond.
“When we found out about the existence of the report, Israel demanded to be allowed to present its data, but we were refused. Meanwhile, Zerrougi's office actively engaged anti-Israel groups and organizations with that agenda” in assembling the report.
Besides not even mentioning Hamas for its endangering children by conducting a war against Israel from, essentially, their bedrooms, the report barely mentions the danger to children from conflicts in Iraq and Syria, and brushes over the terror regime instituted by Islamic State in the territories it controls.
Prosor said that 2% of the report discusses Iraq and ISIS, while 6% of it is dedicated to Syria. Over 10% of the report, though, discusses Israel's “aggression against children.”
In addition, he said, the report completely skips the original cause of Operation Protective Edge – which was triggered by the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens last year.
“Israel is committed to international law and our soldiers always work to minimize the risk to children,” as portrayed in a report issued earlier this week by Israel, in which the role of the IDF in the war was evaluated.
According to the report which Israel submitted to the UN last weekend, the IDF went far beyond the call of duty in protecting Palestinian Arab civilians during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
"Israel sought to avoid the conflict and exercised great restraint over a period of months before the war when its citizens were targeted by sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza,” the report said. “Hamas launched attacks against Israel from the heart of its own civilian communities in Gaza and positioned its munitions and military forces there also, including in schools, hospitals and mosque.
“I call on you to impartially investigate the findings of this study and to take all steps necessary to ensure that Zerrougi's office treats Israel in a fair and honest manner,” Prosor said in a letter to Ban.