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February 24, 2020 4:12 pm

Watchdog Group Urges UNICEF to Call Out Palestinians for Use of Child Soldiers

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Hamas supporters take part in a rally celebrating the 30th anniversary of the group’s founding, in Gaza City on Dec. 14, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Mohammed Salem.

A Israeli watchdog group that tracks racism, incitement and glorification of terrorism in the Palestinian media has sent a report to the UN’s international child welfare agency, UNICEF, on Palestinian recruitment of child soldiers and terrorists.

The report — compiled by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) — alleges that the Palestinian Authority deliberately uses media and educational materials to brainwash Palestinian children into admiring and imitating acts of terrorism.

This, the group said in a press release, violated international law, which prohibits the use of child soldiers.

The PA, charged PMW, “indoctrinates Palestinian children to hate Jews and Israel, to aspire to the destruction of Israel, brainwashes the Palestinian children to admire murderers, weaponizes the Palestinian children, and promotes their participation in violence.”

Furthermore, PMW stated, the PA “pays substantial financial rewards to the child terrorists” and “openly admits that the child terrorists are the PA’s soldiers.”

Claiming that UNICEF had thus far ignored the problem, even though it routinely criticized Israel for ostensibly abusing the rights of Palestinian children, PMW recommended that the organization “recognize and directly attribute the participation of Palestinian children in widespread and systematic acts of violence and terrorism against Israel and Israelis to the policies of the PA.”

It also urged UNICEF to demand an end to these policies.

“UNICEF in the past has failed both its mandate and the needs of Palestinian children,” PMW said. “Instead of examining the underlying factors that drive Palestinian minors to engage in terror, UNICEF merely has focused on echoing the unfounded claims of the Palestinian NGOs against Israeli law enforcement.”

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