The United Nations General Assembly has for the first time condemned the use of human shields by terrorist organizations, following joint Israel-U.S. diplomatic efforts.
The condemnation was in the form of an update to its Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, published on Tuesday.
The new paragraph included in this year’s Strategy denounced the exploitation of “schools and hospitals, for military purposes such as launching attacks and storing weapons” and strongly condemned the use of “civilians to shield military objectives from attacks.”
“Today’s resolution is another important step in our efforts as we change the rules of the game at the U.N.,” said Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon in welcoming the resolution.
“Less than two weeks ago, a plurality of members in the General Assembly voted to denounce Hamas, and now today’s resolution explicitly condemned terrorists for the despicable double war crime of hiding behind women and children while attacking civilians.
“There is much work to be done, but this milestone accomplishment brings us closer to the day when the U.N. will focus on truly bringing security and stability to the world,” Danon added.
The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy was originally adopted in 2006 and is reviewed every two years. It is described by the U.N. as “a unique global instrument used to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism.”