Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Death in Jebaliya: Israel Flouts International Law

It is wrong to use human beings as shields: immoral, unethical, hateful. But it happens, and has happened for years. And because so many bad things happen in war, nearly 200 countries have ratified the Geneva Conventions, among them Israel. So whenever an Israeli spokesperson justifies bombing civilians by blaming those who fight among them, they are ignoring this: Protocol 1, Art. 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:
4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are: (a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective; (b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or (c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol;
and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.
5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate: (a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated (my bold).
My dream list of Hague guests is growing by the day.


Anonymous said...

Sorry but you've ignored the last part that you quoted: "which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated."

Meaning if the target is of sufficient military value, attacks that might harm civilians are allowed. Such as hitting a rocket team that is hiding behind Palestinian civilians as it fires missiles aimed at killing Israeli civilians.

So what you quoted is actually the justification for Israeli attacks.

Have a good time sightseeing at the Hague.

Laura said...

"Concrete and direct military advantage." I believe we disagree on what that term means. Perhaps it will be clarified, given recent calls to investigate possible war crimes committed by the IDF.