Israeli army be placed on terror list, says UN envoy

UNITED NATIONS: A top United Nations official tasked with monitoring the way children are affected by armed conflict has recommended placing the Israeli military on a shortlist of terror groups that includes the self-styled Islamic State and Boko Haram.

A report by Leila Zerrougui, theSpecial Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, includes an appendix containing a list of organisations regularly and systematically compromising on the welfare of children.

Zerrougui`s report castigates Israel for the destruction in the Gaza Strip during last summer`s war with Hamas.

The 50-day conflict killed about 2,200 Palestinians, many of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers.

It caused heavy damage to Gaza`s infrastructure and damaged more than 160,000 homes.

The UN is also facing heavy pressure from the Palestinians, their supporters and human rights organisations to include the Israeli army on the list.

Palestinians also benefit from the support of senior officials in the UN Secretariat who are urging the secretary general not to give in to Israeli pressure.

A senior UN official even claimed in a letter to Mr Ban that Israeli representatives warned her against placing the Israeli military on the list of terror groups.

The report is set for publication later this week.

Published in Dawn