Alexandria Ocasio Cortez calls Israel an “apartheid nation”

New York Times

War crimes continue to be suspected when fighting breaks out between Israel and Hamas

Israeli missiles crashing into Palestinian apartments have caused shocking casualties: one of the most deadly episodes of the war between Israeli and Palestinian militants: eight children and two women Was killed to celebrate a major Muslim vacation. Israel said Hamas’ senior commander was the target of the Friday attack. Graphic video footage shows Palestinian health workers straddling rubble, including children’s toys and exclusive board games, while evacuating bloody victims from shattered buildings. The only survivor was a toddler boy. “They didn’t have weapons, they didn’t fire rockets, they didn’t hurt anyone,” said the boy’s father, who was later seen on television in the hospital holding his son’s little hand. Said Mohammed Al Hadidi. Sign up for The New York Times The Morning Newsletter. “Oh, I love you,” he told his son. Civilians have paid a particularly high price in the recent violent match between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, raising urgent questions about how the laws of war apply to blasting. : Which military action is legal, which war crimes are being committed, and who, if anyone, will ever be held liable. According to experts, both sides seem to be in breach of these laws. Hamas has launched more than 3,000 rockets at Israeli cities and towns. This is an obvious war crime. Israel states that it has taken steps to avoid civilian casualties, but has exposed Gaza to such heavy bombardment, killing families and flattening buildings, resulting in disproportionate coercion. It may constitute the use of force. This is also a war crime. In the most deadly attack to date, Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City on Sunday killed at least 42 people, including 10 children, according to Palestinian officials. No legal ruling is possible during the battle. But some facts are clear. Between last Monday and Sunday night, Israeli airstrikes and shelling in Gaza, a poor and densely populated land of 2 million people, killed at least 197 Palestinians, including 92 women and children, and the world. A clear image of the destruction that evoked a sensation inside was born. .. In the opposite direction, Hamas missiles rained, horrified, and killed at least 10 Israeli inhabitants, including two children. The latest victim, a 55-year-old man, died Saturday after a missile fragment slammed his home door in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv. One Israeli soldier was also killed. Neither side seems to be able to win a complete victory, and the conflict seems to be trapped in a bloody endless loop. As a result, the focus on civilian casualties is greater than ever as a substitute for the seemingly unbeatable moral heights of war. “The story of civilian casualties is more important than usual, and perhaps more important than numbers, because it leads to the moral legitimacy of both sides,” said Da, a professor of international public law at the Brabatonic Government School. Po Akande said. At Oxford University. The calculation of war is brutal. Hamas launches unguided missiles at blazing speed in Israeli cities, sometimes over 100 at a time, but the majority are either hampered by the Israeli Iron Dome defense system or lacking in Gaza. As a result, the number of deaths is relatively low. Israel has said it has warned residents of Gaza to evacuate before the airstrikes and has stopped strikes to avoid civilian casualties. However, the use of artillery and airstrikes to bombard such limited areas full of underprotected people killed 20 times more than Hamas and injured an additional 1,235. .. Israeli military aircraft also destroyed four skyscrapers in Gaza, allegedly used by Hamas. However, those buildings also included homes and offices of local and international news media organizations, causing enormous financial damage. You may not see it, but there are rules governing the genocide. International law of war (a collection of international treaties and unwritten laws, also known as international humanitarian law) governs the actions of combatants. The killing of civilians is not illegal in itself. But combatants must follow widely accepted principles, Akande said. Most importantly, they must distinguish between civilian and military targets, he said. They then have to weigh the military advantage of a potential strike against the damage it causes to civilians. And when they attack, combatants must take all reasonable precautions to limit the damage to civilians, he added. Not surprisingly, applying these principles in places like Gaza is a highly controversial case. Israeli officials say Hamas’ militants have been forced to strike their homes and offices as they live and fight using civilians as human shields. According to Israeli authorities, Hamas is responsible for civilian casualties during these strikes as it launches rockets near schools, offices and homes. The Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement that they had killed 10 families in the attack on Friday, “attacking senior officials of the Hamas terrorist organization in an apartment used as terrorist infrastructure in the area of ​​the Al-Shati refugee camp.” Family neighbors, however, said there were no Hamas officials at the time of the attack. However, human rights groups say Israel is routinely pushing the boundaries of what could be considered proportional military power and often violates the law of war. Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch in Israel, said: Shakir et al., From serious international criticism that Israel’s solid alliance with the United States provides $ 3.8 billion in military aid each year, reflexive diplomatic assistance, and abuse of Palestinians. He said he had protected that behavior. On Saturday, President Joe Biden again insisted on his “strong support for Israel’s right to self-defense.” The Supreme Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who announced an investigation into possible war crimes by both Hamas and Israeli soldiers in February, warned on Friday that both current disputes could be subject to future prosecution. did. “These are events we are considering very seriously,” prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told Reuters. However, criminal courts not recognized by Israel and the United States face many political and logistical obstacles, and it can take years for Israelis or Palestinians to be tried. Other groups have ruled in previous combat rounds. In a report released last year, Human Rights Watch appears to be in violation of international law of war when Human Rights Watch killed 11 civilians during a rekindling in Gaza in November 2019. Said. The report said it violated the law of war. Israeli spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus did not respond to some requests for comment on this article. However, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Rior Hyatt said his country did everything possible to minimize civilian casualties and that the real culprit was Hamas. .. “All missiles launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel are actually terrorist attacks,” Hyatt said. “But that’s not all. All of these missiles are also war crimes.” In 2018, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, “IDF is the most moral army in the world.” Some Israeli soldiers disagree. Breaking the Silence, an organization of left-wing combat veterans, reports a bitter report on the actions of the Israeli army during the last major war with Hamas in 2014, with the military implementing a “generous direct fire policy” in Gaza. I accused him of doing so. The Israeli commander called for “brutal and unethical” actions there, saying he encouraged soldiers to act aggressively against Palestinian civilians. Avner Gvaryahu, the group’s secretary-general, said the Israeli army did not deliberately attempt to kill civilians, but routinely used disproportionate forces. He pointed out the recent use of artillery to attack targets with ammunition capable of killing people up to a radius of 150 meters (about 500 feet). “It speaks to the fact that we are not doing everything on our own to prevent civilian casualties,” Gvaryahu said. Others disagree with Israel’s claim that Hamas blames civilian casualties because it operates in residential areas. In densely populated areas like Gaza, “there are few ways to fight from there without endangering civilians,” said Nathan Thrall, author of a book on Israeli and Palestinians. Thrall said the Israeli Defense Forces headquarters are located in a residential area in Tel Aviv, next to hospitals and museums. Human rights researchers say Hamas will tightly control information about civilian deaths in Gaza to hide its losses and failures. The casualties list provided by the local Ministry of Health (source of 197 deaths over the last 6 days) is generally accurate, but Hamas was killed by Hamas missiles, how many of the dead were extremists. It didn’t say what it was, it ran out and exploded in Gaza. But others have found evidence. During the 2019 battle, Human Rights Watch reported that at least two Palestinian rockets landed in Gaza, killing one civilian and injuring 16 others. Professor Adil Hake of Rutgers Law School, who specializes in international law and armed conflict, said that perhaps the greatest tragedy of civilian death was their power before combatants inevitably agreed to yet another outage. He said it was the way to show it. “Civilians are trapped between two sides,” he said. “Hamas wants to show that it can survive the onslaught of Israel, and Israel wants to show that it is a stronger party.” Both sides want to show if necessary. You can stop, “he added. “But neither will stop first.” This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company