UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is leaning toward not including Israel on an annual list of states responsible for violating children's rights in armed conflicts despite proposals to include it, UN diplomatic sources told Reuters on Thursday night.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, however, that Ban had not yet made a decision on whether to include Israel in the United Nations report, which is due in the coming weeks.
Several diplomatic sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Israel had been lobbying Ban’s office hard to ensure they were not on the list of countries where serious violations against children's rights have occurred.
Israel's foreign ministry has denied pressuring the UN chief.
"There is absolutely no Israeli pressure on the UN secretary-general. The pressure comes from those countries who want to include Israel in the worst possible list," Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon was quoted by Reuters as having said.
"Those countries are motivated by hatred and totally blind to their own failings," he added. "This is a heinous and hypocritical attempt to besmirch the image of Israel and it is doomed to fail."
A draft of the report by Ban's special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, included the IDF for incidents including attacks on schools and hospitals in Gaza war last year.
It also cited reports of violations by the Hamas during the conflict, noted Reuters.
A UN inquiry published in April said Israeli soldiers had fired on seven UN schools during the Gaza war, killing 44 Palestinians who were sheltered at some of the sites, while Palestinian terrorists hid weapons and launched attacks from several empty UN schools.
Despite the accusations by the UN, a detailed study after last year’s Operation Protective Edge proved that 49% of the casualties in Gaza were terrorists, meaning the IDF achieved a 1:1 civilian to combatant ratio almost unprecedented in urban warfare.
No fewer than three United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools were found, during the course of Israel’s 50-day counterterrorism operation, to be serving for storage of rockets for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
After the first finding of rockets at an UNRWA school, it was reported that rather than destroying the rockets, UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them to use in their terror war on Israeli civilians.
In another incident, three IDF soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in a booby-trapped UN clinic that was situated on top of terror tunnel entrances, showing the complicity of the UN in Gaza-based terror against Israel.
Nevertheless, during the course of the Israeli operation, it was Israel that was criticized for attacking UNRWA facilities. Washington called one strike on terrorists operating adjacent to a UN school "disgraceful."
The IDF proved that terrorists in several cases fired rockets from the schools, prompting the response.