The UN Just Rebuked Two Close US Allies For Shocking Child Death Tolls

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As US diplomatic officials around the globe are no doubt lecturing ‘official enemies’ over human rights, and enforcing crippling sanctions from Caracas to Damascus to Tehran to Moscow, they might pause for a moment and look closer to home, as days ago the United Nations slammed key American allies Saudi Arabia and Israel for killing an appalling high number of children

Not unrelated, as we’ve noted before, the two countries have also grown closer in their relationship over the past years in common cause against Iran and related to Syria regime change policy. 

First the Saudis, which found themselves for the first time under unprecedented international scrutiny following the December 2018 Jamal Khashoggi killing in Istanbul. Reuters reported Friday:

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting in Yemen killed or injured 729 children during 2018, accounting for nearly half the total child casualties, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the Security Council on Friday that blacklisted the coalition for a third year.

Yemenis dig graves for children after their school bus was hit during an airstrike in 2018. Image source: AFP

It should be noted that this is a very conservative estimate among the some 100,000 total number of people believed killed as a result of the four-year long Saudi coalition bombing campaign over Yemen, as a recent report in The Guardian tallied. 

And of the Israelis, Reuters related the following concerning the UN censure:

Guterres also reported that the highest number of Palestinian children had been killed or injured last year since 2014, mainly by Israeli forces, though no parties were blacklisted in the annex to the annual Children in Armed Conflict report, seen by Reuters.

The UN report indicated 56 Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in 2018, which is the highest since the 2014 war in Gaza. 

Perhaps more astounding though, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council in his report that Israeli troops injured nearly 2,700 children “in the context of demonstrations, clashes and search and arrest operations.”

The UN chief urged Israel “to immediately put in place preventive and protective measures to end the excessive use of force” and “all Palestinian actors to refrain from encouraging children’s participation in violence.”

Reuters file photo: Israeli police detain a Palestinian youth following clashes after Friday prayers in East Jerusalem.

The Israelis did not immediately comment on the the UN report, while the Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi called the numbers “exaggerated” while also saying that “every child’s life is precious.”

Meanwhile, none of these horrifying figures will result in censure from Washington regarding its close Middle East allies. Weapons and oil will continue to flow. Joint missile tests and defense pacts will continue. Business as usual. 

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