Don’t reward Hamas’s war crimes – opinion

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of Hamas Exploitation of Shifa Hospital It has long been called Gaza’s best-kept secret. Recently released security footage shows Hamas terrorists herding Israeli captives into a hospital while medical staff walk away without a fuss. The army has found extensive caches and stores under the hospital. Hamas’s use of human shields, especially hospitals, is a long-standing practice.

At the Rantisi Hospital in Gaza, the Israeli military found a Hamas command and control center, explosives and weapons, and an extensive tunnel system where Israeli hostages could be held. Recently, Telegraph TV published footage showing Hamas firing rockets from Al Quds Hospital.

Under international law, hospitals are to enjoy protected status from military service. Hamas’ exploitation of hospitals to protect its terrorists and leaders, stockpile weapons, and attack Israelis is a clear war crime. Hamas has an obligation to separate its fighters from civilians and keep Gazan civilians away from the battlefield. Once again, Hamas has demonstrated its blatant disregard for human life by digging and imprisoning the most vulnerable under Gazan hospitals during its war with Israel.

Israel’s limited and proportionate response to Hamas’s use of the sick and wounded as human shields has drawn criticism from some international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Red Cross. This criticism stems from a seemingly deliberate misrepresentation of international law and merely rewards Hamas for war crimes. While the Fourth Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol clearly reflect customary international law, “the presence or movement of a civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to exempt certain points or areas from military operations, especially in an attempt to To protect or defend military objectives from attack, to support or disrupt military operations.

For the past month, Israel has urged civilians to leave hospitals in northern Gaza and travel to safety in the south. Israel has offered to help patients and medical personnel evacuate Shifa Hospital, provide incubators and equipment, and cooperate in setting up field hospitals. Israel does not want to harm the civilians of Gaza, but to defeat and neutralize the terrorists who carried out the terrible massacre on October 7.

In the year Israeli soldiers stand near the entrance to a cave in the Al Shifa hospital compound in Gaza City, November 22, 2023 (Credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Tragedy is not a war crime

Israel is taking necessary precautions to reduce civilian casualties as required by international law. The tragedy of war means that unfortunately civilians may lose their lives, but this in itself does not mean a violation of Israel’s international obligations. As of 2011 The principle of proportionalityCollateral damage to civilians should not be excessive in light of military advantage. Hospitals – as well as schools, residential buildings, and mosques used for military purposes – are legitimate military targets. Israel is fighting a brutal enemy that has committed the worst murders in the history of the Jewish state and is terrorizing millions of Israeli citizens. The military significance of removing Hamas’s leadership as well as its fighting capacity is high.

The alternative to Israeli action is to encourage terrorist organizations to hide themselves in hospitals, knowing that this will give them immunity. In fact, this is a common tactic used by other terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS. The United Kingdom and the United States have fought against terrorists who abuse hospitals during their campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the year In 2004, British and American troops in Fallujah seized a hospital that served as an al-Qaeda base. In a similar attack on the city in 2014, US-led forces struck a hospital used by IS for military purposes. In the year In 2016 and 2017, after IS established its headquarters, harboring fighters and launching attacks from its compound, it targeted the US military. International law is largely based on state practice, and these examples show how other states have acted in similar military situations. Legislation aimed solely at Israel is no law at all.

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When he got up fifty October killing bacchanal He knew it would bring danger to Israeli civilians, to the people of Gaza. Hamas deliberately hides in Gaza’s hospitals, schools, and homes because it understands that a higher Gaza casualty rate, on the contrary, creates more international pressure and opportunity on Israel. Israel is acting in full compliance with international law and is taking great care to minimize civilian casualties while fighting a brutal and brutal terrorist organization. People who respect international norms should not fall into Hamas’s trap of rewarding war crimes.

The writer is an attorney at the Kohelet Policy Forum.







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