United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon issued a lukewarm condemnation this week of a terrorist attack which left an 11 year-old girl in critical condition when a fire bomb was thrown at her car last December.
Ban was responding to a letter penned earlier this year by students at the AMIT Lehava Ulpena, an all girls' school in Kdumim, who called on the secretary-general to denounce the attack.
"No child should ever have to endure such a horrendous experience and no child should have to share the grief of a friend's pain," he wrote.
Ban said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the attack," falling just short of naming it a terrorist attack.
“I always raise my voice to condemn any act of violence against civilians, in particular children, which can never be justified,” he wrote. “The United Nations system, including my Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Children's Fund, is fully mobilized to confront and try to prevent acts of violence against Israeli and Palestinian children alike.”
Ban called on both sides to implement a two-State solution through a "negotiated settlement" which he said was the only way to bring “peace and security” to both sides.
"It is my fervent hope that your generation will grow up to live in a safe, secure environment where no one will suffer such intolerable, senseless violence," he wrote to the girls.
Ban’s letter fell short of the expectation by the girls’ letter, signed by more than 1000 students, calling on the secretary general to condemn the attack and to condemn the burning of children worldwide.
"It is good and important that the UN Secretary General condemned the attack. I is a shame though that it only happened following our letter and not beforehand," Chana Alster the student who led the initiative said on Thursday.
"We are sorry that he believes that in order to save the lives of children in this region two states need to be established and for that, to remove us from our homes," she said.
The girls' initially appealed to Ban and wrote: “We turn to you, as head of the world's most important diplomatic institution, because we have not heard your voice speak out against these terrorists. We have not heard a harsh condemnation by the United Nations of those who burned an eleven year old girl who was coming home from her math lesson,” the girls wrote earlier this year.
On December 25th, Avner Shapira and his daughter, Ayala, were driving in their car near Ma’aleh Shomron when a Molotov cocktail was hurled at their car. They managed to escape the burning vehicle and were evacuated to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer where the girl was treated for third-degree burns over 30 to 40% of her body.
“Ignoring this violence means tacit support of this heinous act. Those who seek to burn children should be banned from the civilized world. Those who wish to burn people are not human beings – and the United Nations must say this loud and clear,” the students wrote.
The students wrote that it was their right to "travel safely on the roads and go to classes and celebrations without fear of terrorists and murderers."
They ended the letter by posing a question to Ban Ki-Moon: "Are girls living in Samaria not entitled to the human right to life? Will you make your voice heard so the terrorists know that the world is not silent in the face of such horror?”