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The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to the representative of Israel.
Ms. Shalev (Israel): ...
Terrorism deliberately targeting civilians, including children, continues to plague many regions in the world. Only a few weeks ago, an Israeli child was murdered and another seriously wounded by an axe-wielding terrorist. In the recent armed conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist entity in Gaza, Hamas terrorists displayed the same callous disregard for the lives of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children. They initiated the conflict by their years-long barrage of rockets and mortars launched from Gaza into Israel, killing, wounding and terrorizing civilians across the southern part of my country. These rockets and mortars were often launched from heavily populated civilian areas, very often in close proximity to schools and hospitals. During the recent conflict, Hamas terrorists hid among Gaza’s civilian population, using and abusing them as human shields. While civilians have been too intimidated to denounce the terrorists for this abhorrent practice, the evidence for its widespread use is overwhelming and incontrovertible. And while children were trained, indoctrinated and used by Hamas in the hostilities, the Secretary-General’s report states only that “community members are reluctant to provide information on cases of children used by armed forces or armed groups for fear of reprisals” ( S/2009/158, para. 86).
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to the representative of Morocco.
Mr. Loulichki (Morocco) ( spoke in Spanish ): ...
Statistics are implacable: more than 2 million children dead, 6 million disabled and 22 million displaced. When they are not reduced to the status of sex slaves or indoctrinated refugees, young boys and girls whose fundamental rights are being violated for the sake of war are living through atrocities and are completely deprived of the real meaning of childhood. We all vividly recall the suffering endured by the children of Gaza, who are confronted by the logic of war, with all its consequences on their psychological state and their daily lives.
The President (spoke in Spanish): I now call on the representative of Egypt.
Mr. Edrees (Egypt) ( spoke in Arabic ): ...
We have followed with great concern the grave atrocities perpetrated by the Israel Defense Forces against children in Lebanon and the Palestinian occupied territories, including the illegal use of cluster munitions by Israel during the 2006 attacks on defenceless people in the villages, schools and farms of Lebanon, as revealed and recorded in the report and monitored by various United Nations agencies. We demand that the Security Council ensure Israel’s cooperation with the United Nations and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict by handing over relevant data, including the necessary information on landmines and cluster bomb sites. That would allow those munitions to be cleared and prevent the victimization of more children exposed to the threat of explosive remnants of war in the affected areas; yet Israel continues to ignore all the Special Representative’s appeals in that regard.
As for Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories, the report reveals old and ongoing grave violations by Israel against Palestinian children. These include the killing of thousands by the Israel Defense Forces and the injuring and maiming of thousands more by the use of phosphoric bombs, missile strikes, internationally prohibited ammunition, tank fire, aerial bombardment and rubber-coated bullets in numerous ongoing attacks by Israeli settlers against children in villages. The Israel Defense Forces have also used Palestinian children as human shields, bombing schools and killing and injuring the students and teachers therein. Israeli settlers, too, have attacked schools, including those of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and others, hospitals, infrastructure and humanitarian relief agencies, and have severely hindered access to humanitarian assistance and medical relief services. All of these acts violate international law and call for the direct intervention of the Security Council to ensure that these atrocities are effectively addressed and prevented from recurring and that their perpetrators are brought to justice.
In so doing, the Security Council and the General Assembly must give due attention to the implementation of the recommendations adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child following its review of the first and only report submitted by Israel, in 2002, on the implementation of its commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Government of Israel continues to completely ignore those recommendations, which include taking all immediate and necessary measures to end violence against children; taking all immediate and necessary measures to prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts; investigating forthwith all incidents of the killing or injuring of children and bringing the perpetrators to justice; and compensating the victims of human rights violations, especially children, and rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society.
At the same time, we demand that Israel implement the recommendations set forth by the Human Rights Council at its most recent session concerning the universal periodic review of the situation of human rights in Israel, in particular those related to Palestinian children under occupation.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to the representative of Qatar.
Ms. Al-Thani (Qatar) ( spoke in Arabic ): ...
The military aggression by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip late last year was a glaring example of the types of violations to which children in armed conflict situations are subjected. That aggression included the killing of hundreds of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli forces, including students sheltering in schools that were directly hit and in hospitals deprived of urgent medical supplies. The Secretary-General highlighted some of those grave violations in his report (S/2009/158) to the Council submitted pursuant to the presidential statement issued as document S/PRST/2008/6.
In that spirit, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Misnad, First Lady of Qatar and Consort of His Highness the Emir of Qatar, took the initiative as UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education to deplore the destruction of educational institutions of the Gaza Strip and called on the Security Council to develop a plan to designate schools and educational institutions as safe havens for students and their families and to ensure that they had access to humanitarian services, deliveries of basic goods, and evacuation services for the sick and wounded. Previously, Her Highness had addressed a letter to the Council (see S/2009/12) calling on it to assume its responsibility and investigate crimes perpetrated by the occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, in particular children.
We reiterate our call for the Council to investigate the Israeli army’s direct attacks on Gaza schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, so as to determine who was responsible and bring them to justice. In that regard, I should like to refer to the report of the Secretary-General’s Board of Inquiry into that situation in order to emphasize the importance of following up on it.
The meeting rose at 7.50 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . Corrections should be submitted to the original languages o nly. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A.