Monday, January 05, 2009

Video: Children of Hamas

The following video is accompanied on its YouTube page by the following explanation:
The UN has been silent to the following criminal activities of the Hamas terrorist organization:
1. Hamas has violated the rights of the Palestinian children abusing them, brainwashing them and inciting them to hate and kill.

2. Hamas has deliberately and exclusively fired missiles at Israeli civilian populations hoping to hurt as many civilians as possible. In 2008 alone, Hamas fired 3,278 rockets and mortars from Gaza to Israeli cities.

3. Hamas has been firing these rockets from within densely populated areas using the Palestinian people as human shields. Mosques, hospitals, kindergartens and children are criminally being used as human shields by Hamas operatives.
Enough is enough. UN: your silence to this brings shame to your institution.
The video refers to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Keep in mind that it is unlikely Hamas ever signed this. As a matter of fact, of the only 2 members of the UN who have not signed on--one of them is the US.

In any case, the following Articles would seem to be relevant:
Article 6

1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
That would mean not just the child of that country--firing rockets at schools would be a violation of the Convention. There is no indication that 'resistance' takes precedence over the lives of children.
Article 19

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
This one would seem to apply to the Palestinian children themselves, but of course this could be open to interpretation. As we have seen from the silence of the UN on the issue of the brainwashing of Palestinian children, the UN is not going to challenge Hamas on the 'exploitation' of Gazan youth.
Article 38

1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.

2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.

3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest.

4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.
Apparently there are points of conflict between the Convention and the laws of individual countries. In the US, for instance, Texas allows the death penalty for children. It also appears that there are other reasons suggested for not ratifying the Convention in the US Senate as well.

That potential for conflict would explain point 4 that children under the age of 15 cannot take direct part in hostilities. While 14 year olds carrying suicide belts would definitely be a violation--along with children being used as human shields--if Hamas has indeed not signed on and ratified the Convention, all that is left is condemnation, and the automatic majority in the UN would block that.

Bottom line, the UN will not take a stand, and Palestinian children in Gaza will continue to be abused by Hamas.

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