The United Nations equated Israel on Monday with the Iranian-backed Hamas terror organization that rules Gaza.
The UN left both Israel – the sole democracy in the Middle East – and the terrorist group off its blacklist of those who violate children’s rights during conflicts.
UN special envoy for children and armed conflict Leila Zerrougui of Algeria had listed both Hamas and Israel in the report she sent for final approval to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to UN sources.
Israel was subjected to sharp criticism by Zerrougui for the impact on children created by its 2014 counter terror war against the terrorists – who for years rained down rocket fire on Israeli children and their families.
On Monday, UN Security Council members received the draft as well. But it was Ban with whom the final decision rested. Sources told journalists the secretary-general elected to strike both Israel and Hamas from the list.
The decision, said the sources, was highly unusual.
Meanwhile, Gaza terrorists are again testing Israel’s resolve. On Saturday night, civilians were sent racing to their bomb shelters once again when a Grad Katyusha rocket was fired at southern Israel from northern Gaza.
The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, indicating that it had been heading directly for a major population center. Shrapnel from the destroyed rocket was later identified on the outskirts of the coastal city of Ashkelon.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned Monday that Israel will not “allow anyone to disrupt the lives” of her citizens.
Speaking at an awards ceremony attended by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot that was held at the home of President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem to honor IDF reservists, Ya’alon said, “In recent days we received another reminder about the complexity of the situation in Gaza.”
Ya’alon spoke of “a hostile entity controlled by a murderous terrorist organization, Hamas, which is also challenged by terror gangs affiliated with global jihad.”
Israel, he said, is maintaining a “determined and decisive policy, one that is measured and responsible… If we are required to, and we continue to be challenged, we will not hesitate to act,” he warned.Hana Levi Julian