Israel gets clean chit!
The United Nations on Monday released a "List of Shame" of children's rights violators but did not include Israel, despite an outcry over the death of more than 500 children in the Gaza war.
Rights groups had called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to add Israel to the list, and there was much debate among UN agencies ahead of the final decision that rested with the UN chief.
Ban decided that last year's list would remain unchanged, but said he was "deeply alarmed" by the "grave violations suffered by children as a result of Israeli military operations in 2014."
"The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of the impact on children in 2014 raises grave concerns about Israel's compliance with international humanitarian law, notably the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack, and respect for international human rights law, particularly in relation to excessive use of force," he said.
The UN chief cited a "dramatic increase" in the number of children killed in Israel and in the Palestinian territories in 2014.
At least 561 children (557 Palestinian, four Israeli) were killed and 4,271 injured (4,249 Palestinian and 22 Israeli) last year.
The current list has 51 groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State group, as well as the armed forces from eight countries such as Syria, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
The blacklist of children's rights violators was released just two months after a UN inquiry found that the Israeli military was responsible for seven attacks on UN schools in Gaza that were used as shelters during the 2014 war.
The 50-day conflict in Gaza last year killed 539 children and injured 2,956, most of whom are Palestinians now struggling with trauma and life-long disabilities, according to the UN children's agency UNICEF.