World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


It is a war crime to target densely packed Gaza homes

It is a war crime to target densely packed Gaza homes

The ‘Gaza doctrine’ of collective punishment and deliberately spreading terror among civilians is illegal

Once again the Gaza Strip is subject to intense attack from Israeli forces. As of yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has documented 593 killed, among them 483 civilians – 151 children, 82 women – and 3,197 injured. Among the injured are 926 children and 641 women, although this does not include the figures for the border areas or the Shejeia area.

Once again it is the civilian population which is targeted, deliberately brought into the eye of the storm.

Everyone in the Gaza Strip is exhausted, worried and terrified. This is as Israel intended. We believe that Israel is deploying the “‘Gaza doctrine”, a policy with its roots in the Dahiya doctrine first witnessed in the 2006 Lebanon war, and subsequently refined in the Gaza Strip.

The purpose of the Gaza doctrine is straightforward: disproportionate force is used to cause terror among the civilian population to exert political pressure on the authorities in Gaza.

This policy of collective punishment, of deliberately causing terror, is unequivocally illegal but it is all too real.

This policy is evident in the intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip that preceded the start of the current offensive. For two weeks following the tragic kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, open areas in the Gaza Strip were subject to intense bombardment. There is no military advantage to be acquired from the targeting of empty fields or desolate places. The purpose was instead to demonstrate Israel’s force and presence. We could not sleep. We were constantly shaken by the thundering impact of one-tonne bombs.

However, the most obvious illustration of this policy in practice has been the widespread targeting of the homes of Hamasand Islamic Jihad fighters. These homes are typically targeted in two phases whereby a “warning” is issued to the house in question so that it may be evacuated. This warning takes the form of either a dud missile (termed “roof knocking”) or a phone call. The house is then targeted and destroyed, anywhere from five to 15 minutes later or sometimes even longer.

How is the destruction of these homes justified?

The law of armed conflict states that only combatants and military objectives may be targeted. Civilians and civilian objects are protected from direct attack.

Destruction

Military objectives are “those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage”.

The law of armed conflict permits the targeting of combatants. As such, in principle it is possible that a house may be targeted to target the combatants contained within ( this attack is still subject to the requirement of proportionality). However, Israel has consistently issued warnings before an attack is launched, ensuring that no combatants are present.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news