Prosor: We protect children in military ops

Ambassador to UN says Palestinian militant groups like Hamas knowingly recruit minors to carry out indiscriminate attacks on Israelis.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
July 14, 2011 05:20
2 minute read.
UN Ambassador Ron Prosor

UN ambassador Ron Prosor USE THIS_311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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NEW YORK – Israel on Tuesday rejected claims made by other member states of the United Nations that it waged indiscriminate warfare that caused physical harm to children, saying it upheld international law protecting the rights of minors.

During a debate on the topic of “Children and Armed Conflict” in the Security Council, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor said the Jewish State refrains from causing harm to children in its military operations – even when its foes use them as human shields.

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“Israel assigns great importance to protecting children in armed conflict, and is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its optional protocol on armed conflict,” Prosor said.

He said Palestinian militant groups like Hamas knowingly recruit minors to carry out indiscriminate attacks on Israelis, which target civilians including children.

“Hamas and other terrorist groups deploy minors as suicide bombers and recruit them to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers; they use children as human shields; they place children in harms way by using schools, hospitals and civilian neighborhoods as a base for their activity,” he said.

Earlier in the day the Lebanese envoy brought Israel up in the context of the debate accusing it of carrying out military operations during the 2006 war with Hezbollah, which caused physical harm to children.

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The South African representative to the UN also named Palestine alongside countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo in a list of places where his government was concerned children were the victims of armed conflict..

In his speech Prosor said Israeli children were often the victims of acts of violence carried out by Arab terrorists.

“My country was numb with horror last March when Palestinian terrorists brutally murdered five members of an Israeli family in Itamar as they slept in their home,” he said, referring to the slaying of the Fogels in the West Bank settlement of Itamar. Security forces later arrested two suspects from a nearby Palestinian village who are being tried for the killings.

“The terrorists went from room to room, using knives to carry out their appalling crime,” Prosor said. “They killed both parents; they killed their two children, ages 4 and 11; and, in an act of unspeakable cruelty, they murdered the youngest member of the family, a three-month old baby girl.”

In order to prevent such killings from recurring, it is necessary to eradicate anti-Semitism from classrooms throughout the region, Prosor said.

“This Council has a responsibility to address the broader context in which children are used and abused in armed conflict,” he said. “In schools, camps, mosques and media, generation after generation of children across the Middle East have been taught to hate, vilify and dehumanize Israelis and Jews.”

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