The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday in the annual “Children and Armed Conflict” report that the Israeli occupation forces killed 78 Palestinian children, maimed another 982, and detained 637 in 2021.
“Should the situation repeat itself in 2022, without meaningful improvement, Israel should be listed,” Guterres warned in the report.
The UN chief said he was “shocked by the killing and injuring of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in airstrikes on densely populated areas, through the use of live ammunition, and at the continued lack of accountability for these violations.”
He reiterated his call for “the Israeli forces to exercise maximum restraint in order to protect lives and to put in place preventive measures, and to review and strengthen their procedures to end and prevent any excessive use of force against children” in an unprecedented warning.
Guterres called on “Israel to investigate every case in which live ammunition was used,” as he acknowledged for the first time that “there is a systematic lack of accountability for Israeli violations against Palestinian children.”
The report also highlighted the issue of the Palestinian children in Israeli prisons, where Guterres stressed “the need for Israel to adhere to international standards regarding the detention of children, and to end administrative detention, ill-treatment and violence.”
In his report, the Secretary-General expressed his concern over “the increasing Israeli attacks on schools and educational institutions that serve children,” stressing the need to provide the necessary humanitarian and health assistance to children without any Israeli obstacles.
The report added that at least 2,425 girls and 13,663 boys were victims of verified violations which included abductions, sexual violence, school, and hospital attacks, and denial of aid during conflicts during the last year.