A number of Palestinian, Israeli, and international pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) NGOs are behind a concerted effort to falsely accuse the IDF of violating the rights of Palestinian minors in order to impose sanctions against Israel. Some of these NGOs also have confirmed or reported ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
UNICEF, the UN agency mandated for protecting the rights and welfare of children, is also involved in the campaign to accuse the IDF of violating children’s rights. UNICEF’s role in this process is its leadership of a “working group” on Israel made up of BDS, terror affiliated, and/or political advocacy NGOs. The NGO members of this group feed unverifiable and factually inaccurate data and reports into a database that is used by UNICEF in crafting its own reports. In this way, UNICEF provides legitimacy for the NGO claims that are then echoed in other UN documents and ultimately in the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on Children in Armed Conflict.
For example, a UNICEF “Humanitarian Situation Report” for the period of October 5 to October 31, 2015 states that 15 Palestinian children were killed during that period without noting that 13 were perpetrators of stabbing attacks against Israelis. This claim appears to clearly mimic the highly political and biased narrative of DCI-P, one of the working group members, which claims that in October 2015, 14 Palestinian minors were killed, none while participating in hostilities.
NGO Monitor research shows that rather than reporting and monitoring violations of children’s rights, as mandated, the group has taken a political stance and is focused on accusing the IDF of violating children’s rights such that the UN can impose sanctions against the State. Furthermore, in sharp contrast, it does not appear that UNCIEF and the NGO members of the working group make the same concerted effort regarding Palestinian terror groups that blatantly violate the rights of the child (both indiscriminate targeting of Israeli minors and the use and recruitment of Palestinian minors in armed conflict). In this context the alleged ties of working group NGOs to Palestinian terrorist organizations is relevant.
NGO Members of the UNICEF Led Working Group: