Skip to main content

UN slams 'unconscionable' killing of Palestinian children

Nineteen Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied territories in the recent unrest, taking the total number this year to 37, the UN says
— Geneva (AFP)

The UN rights chief voiced alarm Thursday at the number of Palestinian children killed and wounded this month and demanded those responsible be brought to account.

Last week saw three days of intense conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants in the densely populated Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

"Inflicting hurt on any child during the course of conflict is deeply disturbing," Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement.

"The killing and maiming of so many children this year is unconscionable."

The Israeli air and artillery strikes targeted positions of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad group.

Her office said 19 Palestinian children had been killed in the Palestinian territories in the recent unrest, taking the total number this year to 37.

The latest child casuality was 10-year-old Liyan al-Shaer, who died in a Jerusalem hospital Thursday from a head wound sustained in the latest round of Gaza violence.

Seventeen children were killed during the Gaza hostilities from August 5 to 7, while two more were killed on Tuesday in Israeli law enforcement operations in the West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Office OHCHR said that among the 48 Palestinians killed in last week's Gaza conflict, there were at least 22 civilians. They included the 17 children.

Of the 360 Palestinians reported injured, nearly two-thirds were civilians, including 151 children, OHCHR said.

Three Gazan children are on life-support systems at a hospital in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Thursday.

"In a number of incidents, children were the majority of casualties," Bachelet's office said.

"Launching an attack which may be expected to incidentally kill or injure civilians, or damage civilian objects, in disproportionate manner to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited," she said.

"Such attacks must stop."

Bachelet's office said that, also in violation of international humanitarian law, Palestinian armed groups launched hundreds of rockets and mortars in indiscriminate attacks, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects in both Israel and Gaza.

Israel insists that some of the civilian deaths including children were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that fell short or misfired.

Bachelet called for investigations into all incidents where any person was killed or injured.

"An almost total lack of accountability persists in the occupied Palestinian territory," she said.

"Whether for violations of international humanitarian law by all parties in hostilities in Gaza, or for recurring Israeli violations of international human rights law and the law of occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial