A number of Palestinian, Israeli, and international pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) NGOs- some with reported ties to terrorist organizations- are behind a concerted effort in the UN to falsely accuse the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) of abusing Palestinian minors in order to impose sanctions against Israel, reported 0404 News.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) created a “working group” on Israel spearheaded by DCI-P (the Palestinian non-profit Defense for Children International – Palestine). DCI-P has alleged ties to terrorist groups and supports BDS campaigns against Israel. Joined by other BDS, terror affiliated, and/or political advocacy NGOs, the UNICEF Working Group neglects its mandated obligation to report and monitor violations of children’s rights. Instead, it has taken a political stance focused on accusing the IDF of violating children’s rights so the UN can impose sanctions against the State of Israel.
NGO Monitor investigated the relationship between UNICEF-Palestine and its partner organizations, and has presented the findings to senior UN officials. They show how the UNICEF Working Group, composed mainly of organizations involved in the delegitimization of Israel, are receiving funding from UNICEF for motives that do not pertain to child welfare.
Additionally, the NGOs that have been involved in the UN Working Group have published unfounded reports of the arrest and abuse of Palestinian minors who committed violent offenses. The publications are without context and full of distortions and information that can not be verified. For example, a UNICEF “Humanitarian Situation Report” for October 2015 states that 15 Palestinian children were killed, without noting that 13 were perpetrators of terror attacks. These claims are collected in the UNICEF database and then transferred to official UN publications, which legitimizes them. After UNICEF provides legitimacy for the NGO’s inaccurate and unverifiable claims, the claims are echoed in other UN documents and may ultimately end up in the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on Children in Armed Conflict.
In sharp contrast, UNCIEF and the NGO members of the working group claim they have no evidence to include Palestinian terror organizations, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas. PLFP and Hamas blatantly violate children’s rights by indiscriminately targeting Israeli minors and recruiting Palestinian children and teens in armed conflict. The UNICEF report on the recruitment of children in Gaza states, among other things, that “the Working Group was unable to document cases of child recruitment and the use of children.” In this context, the alleged ties of working group NGOs to Palestinian terrorist organizations becomes painfully relevant.
The legal adviser to NGO Monitor, Anne Herzberg, said, “The political agenda of UNICEF is a central element in actions against Israel that do not conform to its mandate to protect children, neutrality and impartiality.”
This UNICEF campaign is funded by the European Union, Canada, and Japan. However, there is indication that some of the sponsoring governments are not completely aware of the nature of the organizations receiving funding. For example, money transferred from one government through UNICEF to the The World Council of Churches’ EAPPI program was originally intended for “teacher training,” but was used for allegations of child abuse against the IDF. This demonstrates the importance of exposing how terrorists, BDS and groups dedicated to delegitimizing Israel get funded and what platforms (like the UN) they use to spread lies and misinformation that attempts to promote anti-Israel activity, such as BDS.
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