Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
A Palestinian child holding a machine gun at a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip

As Biden meets with the terror-supporting rulers in Ramallah, who will call for justice?

By Akiva Van Koningsveld, HonestReporting

After a series of high-level meetings in Jerusalem last week, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time since taking office in 2021.

The Palestinians previously revealed that they would present Biden with five demands, one being the restoration of aid to the PA.

According to local outlets, Washington had already asked Israel’s new caretaker prime minister, Yair Lapid, to provide Abbas with economic concessions to help strengthen his dictatorial rule over the Palestinians.

U.S. law puts strict limits on most of the White House’s direct financial support of the PA, other than in certain narrowly defined cases. In principle, funds can only be transferred once Ramallah takes steps to halt its incessant incitement to violence and the glorification of acts of terrorism.

However, recent publications indicate that the Palestinians are refusing to meet their obligations, with Abbas’ U.S.-trained and funded security forces even recruiting children as young as seven to fight what they describe as the “sons of dogs” (i.e., Israelis).

Yet the Associated Press (AP), in a report reprinted by The Washington Post, ABC News, and The Daily Mail, this week opted to put a spotlight on alleged Israeli “crimes” against children.

The July 12 AP article, titled “UN to Monitor Ukraine War for Violations Against Children,” written by veteran correspondent Edith M. Lederer, initially focuses on the news that the United Nations will start monitoring the conflicts in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Africa’s central Sahel region for violations against children.

This occurred after UN Secretary-General António Guterres released his annual report on children and armed conflict, which furthermore stated that “the highest numbers of grave violations were verified in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory [sic], Somalia, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen.”

Violations Against Children

The 45-page UN study falsely charged Israel with using “excessive force” against Palestinian children and referenced Israel almost 50 times, while only mentioning “Palestinian parties” and Hamas by name seven times.

HonestReporting has frequently called out baseless claims that Israel targets Palestinian children. In reality, most youths tragically killed during hostilities had been cynically used both as soldiers and human shields.

However, Guterres’ accusations didn’t go far enough for the Associated Press and Edith Lederer, who go out of their way to cite anti-Israel NGOs Human Rights Watch and the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict to slander the Jewish state even further:

“Both organizations also strongly criticized the UN chief for omitting Israel from the ‘list of shame’ for the deaths of 78 Palestinian children and injuries to 982 in 2021. Becker called the failure to list Israel ‘another missed opportunity for accountability,’ saying ‘other armed forces or groups have been listed for far fewer violations.’ […]

“Lapar said ‘year after year Israeli government forces have gotten away with committing serious crimes against children, with virtual impunity’ and ‘the secretary-general needs to hold the Israeli government to the same standard as any other warring party.’”

The AP conveniently omits that even Secretary-General Guterres commended Israel for “engaging with my Special Representative and the United Nations to prevent any more violations against children and adopt clear and time-bound commitments.”

Meanwhile, the same UN report expressed concerns about “the increase in the killing and maiming of children by Palestinian armed groups and by recurrent incidents of recruitment and use of children.”

Who Will Call for Justice?

Indeed, thousands of Palestinian youths have over the past years been sent to “summer camps” where they receive military training by members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Gaza-based, U.S.-designated terror groups. Some of the participants are as young as ten years old.

But rather than draw attention to Hamas’ transformation of children into soldiers, journalists have ignored the war crime and some, inexplicably, have tried to place the blame on Israel.

On July 11, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) exposed that the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, in cooperation with President Abbas’ Fatah party, also offer military training to children from the age of seven and up. A video posted to a Fatah Facebook page explains that, in the “army camp,” kids “wear soldiers’ uniforms, eat their food, and are trained in military order and discipline.’”

“Our battle with the sons of dogs [i.e., Israelis] is long, and we need a young generation,” the video says, while showing minors disassembling and assembling weapons. Through chants, young participants of the PA camps are taught to admire Dalal Mughrabi, the PLO terrorist who led one of the most deadly terror attacks against Israeli citizens, a 1978 bus hijacking in which armed Palestinians slaughtered 38 Israelis, including 13 children.

Notably, the Palestinian Authority Security Forces were trained and funded by the United States.

As a consequence of the AP’s fixation on Israel, the victims of Hamas’ war crimes and the Palestinian Authority’s “army camps” are once again ignored.

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