A Palestinian boy holds a weapon. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

The time has come for the United Nations to stand up for Palestinian children who are forced by their leaders to serve as suicide bombers, human shields, and perpetrators of terror attacks.

By United with Israel Staff and the Coalition to Save Palestinian Child Soldiers

What are “child soldiers”?

In Palestinian society, child soldiers are the tens of thousands of minors forced to serve as weapons of war through suicide bombings, terror tunnel digging, and stabbing attacks, among other dangerous tasks and duties.

Such abuse and exploitation clearly violates rules set forth by international bodies that purport to protect the human rights of children, such as the United Nations, which defines a “child soldier” as any person below 18 years of age “used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, … including fighters, cooks, porters, messengers, spies or for sexual purposes.”

Palestinian children are systematically abused by their leadership, which indoctrinates them to live a life of violence. This indoctrination, and often outright coercion, occurs in all sectors of society, whether in schools, on television, or at home.

These children are forced to commit attacks with guns, knives and rock-throwing.

Palestinian children are also used to build dangerous infrastructure, including terror tunnels, which often cave in and kill the innocent children inside. They are used as human shields for terrorist organizations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, being placed next to missile-launching silos and ammunition storage facilities.

Often, these terrorist organizations stash their weapons of war in schools and kindergartens, hiding behind the children inside. It’s a culture of violence instilled into children from near-infancy; they are born into violence, and raised in violence.

If the children are “lucky” enough to survive their ordeals, they frequently exhibit severe psychological trauma, experience great difficulty adjusting to normal life, and never truly escape their trauma.

The evil people who recruit these child soldiers don’t simply rob them of their childhoods, they rob them of living a normal life altogether. And yet, there is little condemnation when Palestinian leaders and terror groups perpetuate the cycle of violence by enlisting each new generation of child soldiers.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) must demand that Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, PFLP, and PLO operate in accordance with the 2007 Paris Principles, and end the systemic use of Palestinian children in military efforts of any type.

This injustice cannot continue to go unnoticed! We must demand that the UN take action and fight the use of Palestinian child soldiers!

Tell the United Nations to demand the Palestinians stop abusing children as soldiers!

CLICK HERE to sign a letter to UNICEF demanding the condemnation of the use of Palestinian child soldiers.