RAMALLAH, Monday, May 17, 2021 (WAFA) - Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, Riyad al-Malki requested the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, in accordance with her mandate, to protect the Palestinian children and to compel Israel, the occupying power, to stop its serious crimes against the Palestinian children.
Malki sent a letter to the UN Special Representative regarding the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the impact of its widespread and systematic crimes on children.
He stressed the importance of urging the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, to meet its obligations and take the necessary measures to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, including children in particular, and to ensure the protection of schools, hospitals, and other basic facilities, as well as to put a stop to the Israeli crimes, ensure access for humanitarian assistance, and to hold accountable those responsible for these war crimes and to bring them to justice.
He called for the need to list Israel, with its army and settlers, on the United Nations’ “list of shame” of parties responsible for serious violations of the rights of children in armed conflict.
In a statement issued on May 12th, the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, expressed grave concern by the serious and long-term consequences of violence on the physical and mental wellbeing of children, appealing to all parties to immediately act to protect children.
While a peaceful resolution to the present situation must be prioritized, she reminded all parties of their obligations and responsibilities under international law including the principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality in the use of force. “It is time to put in place concrete measures to better protect children, schools, and hospitals from the effects of violence,” she said.
She called on all parties to ensure that boys and girls are protected from the effects of the violence and to exercise maximum restraint to prevent further escalation of violence. Children are always the most vulnerable members of society and the first victims of violence in times of conflict.