UN adds Israel to list of nations committing violations against children

The United Nations says it has added Israel to a global list of countries committing grave violations against children's rights, as the death toll of children continues to rise in the Gaza Strip.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a regular news conference on Friday that he had informed Israel's UN envoy that the country has been included on the list.

The global body investigates the impact of armed conflicts around the world on children to compile an annual report for release. The document includes a list of offenders that harm children. The latest report will be made public later this month.

The new list also includes civil-war torn Syria and Yemen in the Middle East. Russia, which is continuing its invasion of Ukraine, was listed last year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted sharply to the UN decision.

Netanyahu said in a statement, "Today the UN added itself to the black list of history when it joined those who support the Hamas murderers." He called the Israeli military "the most moral army in the world."

The UN says 7,797 children had been killed in Gaza as of Wednesday. The figure accounts for more than 30 percent of the fatalities.

The Israeli military announced on Thursday that it had carried out an airstrike on a school run by a UN agency in central Gaza and killed Hamas fighters. But health authorities in the enclave said the attack left 40 people dead, including 14 children.