UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon attacked Israel on Thursday, saying it needed to do more to protect the lives of Palestinian Arab children during counter-terror operations in Gaza – even as international law experts say Israel is warning Gazans too much and harming the ability of Western democracies to combat terror.
"Last year was one of the worst in recent memory for children in countries affected by conflict," the UN leader said, adding he is "deeply alarmed at the suffering of so many children as a result of Israeli military operations in Gaza last year."
More than 500 children died during the conflict in Gaza last year, although Ban failed to note that Hamas embedded its terror infrastructure in civilian populations to maximize casualties on the Gazan side and portray the IDF negatively. Hamas also widely used civilian shields, callously using local people and particularly children in the line of fire.
"I urge Israel to take concrete and immediate steps, including by reviewing existing policies and practices, to protect and prevent the killing and maiming of children, and to respect the special protections afforded to schools and hospitals," the UN leader said.
Israel has pointed out that many facilities in Gaza were struck because they were being used to fire rockets on Israeli civilians and store weapons.
Hamas has been busily developing its domestic rocket arsenal since the last war and is siphoning off construction goods to rebuild its terror attack tunnels into Israel, in preparation for its next terror war against the Jewish state.
AFP contributed to this report.