Israel, Hamas, Sudan Rivals Added To UN Global List For Killing Children

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The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday named and added Israel’s armed and security forces, Palestinian militants Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and Sudan’s warring parties to the annual global list of violators and offenders for killing and maiming children in 2023.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council and seen by Reuters, Guterres also called out the armed forces of Israel and Sudan for attacking schools and hospitals and Hamas and Islamic Jihad for abducting children.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, who have been fighting the Sudanese armed forces since April last year, was also named for recruiting and using children, committing rape and other sexual violence and attacking schools and hospitals.

The report, compiled by Guterres’ envoy for children and armed conflict Virginia Gamba, covers six grave violations – killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, recruitment and use, denial of aid and attacks on schools and hospitals.

The list attached to the report aims to shame parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to implement measures to protect children, adding that it only reports on violations verified by the United Nations.

“In 2023, violence against children in armed conflict reached extreme levels, with a shocking 21% increase in grave violations,” the report read.

“The number of instances of killing and maiming increased by a staggering 35%.”

“The highest numbers of grave violations were verified in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Nigeria and Sudan,” found the report, describing verification as “extremely challenging.”