Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Palestinian Use of Children in Armed Hostilities vs. B’Tselem’s Lack of Human Rights Priorities - by Becca Wertman

...As a human rights organization, it is highly disturbing that B’Tselem does not condemn the Palestinian use of children in armed hostilities, nor demand that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority prohibit the presence of children at the border. The UN and organizations dedicated to combating the use of child soldiers recognize that the way to prevent children from dying in combat is by ensuring that they are not present and active on the front lines. 

Becca Wertman..
10 December '18..

On December 10, 2018, the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the French government will award the Israeli organization B’Tselem with the “Human Rights Award of the French Republic.” Whereas the Declaration celebrates “dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family,” B’Tselem hijacks the language of these noble ideals in order to promote a narrow political, ideological agenda. The French government’s selection of its prize recipient is similarly at odds with these principles.

B’Tselem’s “reporting” on the violence along the Israel-Gaza border acutely demonstrates this moral failure, as it belittles Palestinian attempts to breach and destroy the border; the launching of incendiary devices; and the use of IEDs, stones, guns, and rockets to attack Israelis. It further trivializes human rights violations committed by Palestinian actors against their own populations.

Take, for example, B’Tselem’s November 27 “investigation” into four cases of “Palestinian minors killed by Israeli troops at Gaza protests.” The group claims that Israel’s “open-fire policy in the area of the Gaza fence” is responsible for the deaths of children in Gaza. However, through a close reading of the report and with a basic understanding of international law, it is apparent that B’Tselem is ignoring the recruitment and use of child soldiers by Palestinian armed groups and instead condemning Israel’s international right to defend its border.

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