This week you may have heard that children were killed in Jenin operations and you have likely heard that their deaths were Israel’s fault. But by blaming Israel, the international community is failing to protect Palestinian children from the real war criminals – the Palestinian terror groups.

It is true that children were among those killed in Jenin. But the facts are quite simple. The IDF only killed militants in Jenin. None of the children killed were civilians.

Why is this? Because Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other terror groups have recruited child soldiers, trained them and sent them into battle armed with weapons.

The problem here is that the international community, namely the United Nations, along with many mainstream media outlets, label those killed simply as “children”.

This is wrong in multiple ways.

First, it smears Israel as being “child murderers”, when they are not.

Second, it scapegoats Israel as the one doing wrong, when the real criminals are the terrorists who brainwash and recruit children for their evil aims. Recruiting child soldiers is a war crime under international law. Killing child soldiers is not. It doesn’t mean Israel wants to kill children and they do everything they can to prevent this, but when a 17-year-old child is shooting an M16 at an IDF soldier, they do not have the time to ask how old they are.

Third, when the international community condemns Israel instead of the terrorists, it fails in its obligation of protecting children. So they fail in three areas.

Sadly, Islamist terror groups have long recruited children for their evil causes. Hundreds of child fighters were recruited by ISIS, and in one battle alone, 300 child fighters, dubbed the ‘Cubs of the caliphate’ were slaughtered when ISIS sent them in to battle against trained Syrian soldiers.

It appears PIJ is adopting this same principle of brainwashing young boys and recruiting them for their cause.

It’s time the international community held the terrorists to account. If it doesn’t do so, it will be failing in its obligations to defend children and counter terrorism. Israel is not committing war crimes. The terrorists are, and the world is shamefully closing its eyes to it.

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