A South African Foundation has laid into Israel for putting Palestinian children in harm’s way and ordering the evacuation of babies in incubators from hospitals as it continues its bombardment of Gaza, an act widely seen as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
The June 16, 1976 Foundation used World Children’s Day celebrations on Monday to call out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders for categorizing Palestinians ‘human animals”.
It also strongly urged the United Nations (UN) to intervene promptly in response to the ongoing massacre of innocent Palestinians, including women and children.
In a statement, Chairperson Titi Mthenjane expressed concern regarding the ongoing massacre occurring under the watch of the UN and other international organizations.
“We condemn the killing of children and call for a stop to the continued dispossession of Palestinians of their land by the Israeli government’s continued drive to inflict landless cruelty on the people of Gaza. Even mind-boggling is watching the United Nation’s silence to the Israeli government calling Palestinians human animals to justify the continued dispossession of their land.
“Monday November 20 marked the Universal Children’s Day, a United Nations initiative that emphasizes the fundamental rights of children, yet we are bombarded with stats and visuals of blood-stained faces of children courtesy of the Israeli warlords disguised under the cloak of a government,” said Mthenjane.
The United Nations established World Children’s Day in 1954, originally known as Universal Children’s Day. This annual celebration takes place on November 20th and aims to foster global unity, raise awareness about children’s issues worldwide, and enhance the well-being of children.
November 20th holds significant importance as it marks the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly in 1959. In 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The theme for this year’s World Children’s Day is “Every Child, Every Right.” However, the June 16, 1976 Foundation finds this statement ironic. According to Mthenjane, it is evident that Israel is willing to endanger the lives of Gaza’s children in pursuit of its malicious objectives.
“The foundation expresses its deep concern and condemnation of a government placing civilians in harm’s way and the wholesale sacrifice of children, including newborns in incubators with the attack of a hospital in Gaza against internationally accepted terms of engagement in war.
“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against occupation and call for an immediate end to the Israeli government’s cruelty and the ongoing suffering inflicted upon the Palestinian population. The killing of innocent children is an unforgivable sin that must be addressed with urgency and accountability,” Mthenjane said.
Mthenjane stated that their organization is dedicated to promoting peace, fostering respect for life, advancing education, raising awareness, and nurturing a sense of common humanity.
“The foundation is united with the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination. We firmly believe in the inherent value and sanctity of every human life, regardless of nationality or ethnicity,” he said. “We call upon the international community, human rights organizations, children’s organizations and governments worldwide to take a stance to bring about a ceasefire that would pave the way for permanent peace based on justice to the innocent victims of the children of Palestine. The voices of the innocent must be heard, and their rights to life, security, and dignity must be upheld.”
The conflict in Gaza has once again captured global attention, as over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli Defense Force. Hamas killed at least 1 400 Israeli civilians and kidnapped 237 others on October 7.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa ramped up his diplomatic efforts this week, hosting a virtual BRICS meeting on Tuesday to discuss the current situation in the Middle East. He has adopted a hardline stance against Israel, with his government recalling its diplomats from Tel Aviv and calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate Netanyahu and others for war crimes.
The meeting was attended by the leaders of Russia and China, namely President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping, alongside representatives of the bloc’s new members. UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres was invited as a special guest.