UN envoy ‘aware of crimes committed against Palestinian children’

Middle East Monitor  /  December 13, 2022

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba de Potgieter, said on Monday that she is “aware of the daily crimes committed against Palestinian children.” She is said to have expressed her anger with such crimes in a meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah.

De Potgieter affirmed her cooperation and coordination with the Palestinian Authority “to protect Palestinian children in light of the escalating Israeli violations and settlers’ violence.” She stressed that the essence of her work is to ensure the protection of children in conflict areas, and that, according to her legal mandate, she has the authority to visit conflict areas and hold meetings and talks with the parties in the regions to urge them to provide protection for children from violence and crimes.

At the same time, she stressed that this visit will not be the last. She looks forward to cooperating with the Palestinian government and providing special training for workers in the Palestinian ministries.

The UN official also said that she looks forward to visiting Palestine once again to meet with NGOs “to discuss ways of cooperation and dialogue on the violations and crimes of the occupation forces and settlers.”

De Potgieter is on a visit to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. She will meet with the families of the Palestinian child victims to hear from them about “the grave violations that rise to the level of crimes committed by the occupation forces against Palestinian children.”

During her meeting with Al-Maliki, she received a report that include details of Israel’s “systematic and deliberate crimes against the Palestinian children, which fall within the framework of Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005).” This resolution covers the killing and maiming of children, targeting schools and hospitals, sexual assaults, kidnapping of children and denying access to humanitarian and medical aid.


UN Envoy visits Palestine to investigate Israel violations against children

Middle East Monitor  /  December 12, 2022

The Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba de Potgieter, will begin an official visit, on Monday, to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to investigate Israel’s “violations” against the Palestinians, especially against Palestinian children.

The Palestinian official News Agency, Wafa, quoted the political advisor to the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Al-Deek, as saying that de Potgieter’s visit will continue until 16 December and will include the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

During her visit, de Potgieter will meet with the families of Palestinian child victims, to observe in the field the grave violations that amount to war crimes committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinian children, he said.

He explained that the UN Envoy “will submit a report to the Secretary-General in light of the testimonies she will obtain from the victims’ families and from her meetings with Palestinian officials”.

He pointed out that the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has recently issued two reports in which he used “clear statements regarding the violations of the occupying power against Palestinian children, and hinted that he would place Israel and its army on the list of shame, as a result of the continuation of these violations”.

A statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued on Sunday, said the UN Envoy’s visit “comes in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in New York”.

The visit includes a meeting with Prime Minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, high-level representatives of the government and other representatives of national institutions and specialists to discuss the ongoing violations and crimes against the children of Palestine.

According to United Nations data, the Israeli army has killed 15 Palestinian children during “search and arrest” operations across the West Bank since the beginning of this year until 21 November.