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    Arab states oppose UN measure on Israeli children

    By Reuters



    UNITED NATIONS - Arab nations will oppose an
    Israeli resolution condemning Palestinian attacks
    on Israeli children that is awaiting a vote this
    week in a UN General Assembly committee, a
    Palestinian diplomat said on Monday.

    The Israeli resolution,
    pending in the assembly's
    Social, Humanitarian and
    Cultural Committee, mirrors
    an Egyptian-sponsored
    resolution adopted by the
    panel last week that demands
    Israel protect Palestinian
    children.


    Palestinian envoy Nasser al-Kidwa said Arab
    delegates, meeting at UN headquarters,
    concluded the Israeli draft had been written
    "as a bad joke" and should be voted down.

    "Frankly, we were not amused," al-Kidwa told
    reporters after the meeting. "This is an
    anti-Palestinian resolution, much more than it
    is a pro-Israeli children resolution."

    "The Europeans say they will abstain. I can't
    see anybody voting in favor of this," he said.
    "We hope they [the Israelis] will wake up and
    forget about this."

    Israel has been the target of hundreds of
    critical resolutions at the United Nations. The
    measure on Israeli children is the first the
    Jewish state has introduced in more than a
    quarter century.


    It expresses concern "about the continuous grave
    threat to Israeli children from Palestinian
    terrorism" and "demands that the Palestinian
    Authority respect its obligations to undertake
    effective operations aimed at confronting all
    those engaged in terror."

    The Egyptian draft resolution was passed last
    Thursday by a vote of 88-4, with 58
    abstentions. The United States, Israel,
    Micronesia and the Marshall Islands voted
    against it, while the 15 European Union nations
    and Canada were among those abstaining.

    Israel's deputy UN ambassador, Arye Mekel, told
    the committee last week that resolution was
    one-sided because "we believe that all the
    world's children are deserving of equal
    protection, including Israeli and Palestinian
    children."

    But al-Kidwa said the situation of Palestinian
    children was unique in that "all of them are
    collectively deprived of every single right in
    the Convention on the Rights of the Child," a
    global treaty that came into force in 1990.
 
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