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In a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Secretary-General, the State of Palestine urgently called on them to provide special protection for Palestinian children.
Since the beginning of 2022, Israel, the occupying Power, has wilfully killed over 44 Palestinian children and minors. Today, 12-year-old Mahmoud Samoudi, succumbed to his wounds, after the Israeli occupying forces had critically shot him in the abdomen twelve days ago in Jenin. Over the past few days alone, Israel, the occupying Power, has killed over five Palestinian children and youth, including: Adel Adel Daud (14), Mahdi Ladadwa (17), Mahmoud Sous (17), Fayez Khaled Damdoum (17), and Ahmad Draghmeh (19).
Deliberately aiming at the upper parts of their bodies, Israeli soldiers are applying Israel’s infamous shoot-to-kill policy that has resulted in the killing of hundreds of Palestinian children. These appalling crimes took place days following the killing of 7-year-old Rayan Suleiman by sheer terror of the Israeli occupation soldiers.
Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children and minors with the stated aim of killing and maiming them, thus, denying them their right to life. Children must never be killed or maimed. The State of Palestine warns that Israel’s escalating crimes and deliberate targeting of Palestinian children will continue unabatedly and exponentially if accountability is not urgently and effectively pursued.
The evidence of Israel’s mounting crimes against Palestinian children is undoubtedly overwhelming. The State of Palestine calls on the Secretary-General to rightly add Israel on the list of shame for its systematic violations against Palestinian children. Willfully exempting Israel from facing consequences for its crimes is inconsistent with international law and resolutions that form the basis for protection of children in armed conflict.
Palestinian children are entitled to their human rights, to protection, to health, to dignity, and to peace. They are not an exception to these global rules. We reiterate that the selective application of international law is unacceptable and indefensible and is causing great harm not only to our people but to the international rules-based order.
We are firm in our conviction that the protection of children is humanity’s foremost moral, legal, and political obligation. The State of Palestine calls on the international community to end this intolerable nightmare that our children are living on a daily basis, and to take measures that hold Israel, the occupying Power, accountable for its heinous crimes.