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Legal Aspects of the Gaza Operation December 27, 2008 – January 17, 2009. Office of the Legal Adviser Ministry of Foreign Affairs March 2009. Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). Even though the conflict in Gaza was between: Nevertheless: IDF bound by LOAC. Some Preliminary Questions.
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Office of the Legal Adviser
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Even though the conflict in Gaza was between:
Nevertheless: IDF bound by LOAC
and Operational procedures
“My great maxim has always been, in politics and war alike, that every injury done to the enemy, even though permitted by the rules, is excusable only so far as it is absolutely necessary”
1000 days in captivity
Obligation to distinguish between adversary’scivilians and combatants
Additional Protocol I, Article 48
Additional Protocol I, Article 51(2)
Hamas posters boasting of missiles destroying civilian homes in Sderot
Obligation to distinguish between own side’s civilians and combatants
IVth Geneva Convention, Article 28
Additional Protocol I, Article 51(7)
Rockets fired from rooftop
Firing into Israel from Beti lahia
Mortar launching squad firing from front of School (2007)
(click picture to view film)
Rockets fired at Ashkelon from behind cemetery
Weapons found in Jabalia mosque
Manufacturing rockets in private house in Northern GazaAbuses of Distinction - weapons storage and factories
Additional Protocol I, 44(3)Combatants dressing as civilians
“The commander, shaheed
Muhammad Salameh Hilles,
head of the mortar shells
unit in Saja’iya and a lion
of the special unit.”
Additional Protocol I, 77(2)Abuses of distinction - recruiting children
An eight-year old boy in the
Jabaliya refugee camp to
Hamas magazine Al-Risala,
March 7, 2008Abuses of distinction - recruiting children
Children in uniform train at a PRC camp (Hamas’ PALDF Forum, August 22).
Booby-trapped residential building
Armed terrorist uses child as shield to cross exposed road (click picture for film)
‘Work accidents’ in December 2008
6.12 - Kerem Shalom: Four rockets fired at the Kerem Shalom crossing fell on the Rafah Crossing. Egypt held Hamas responsible.
20.12– Beit Hanoun: Two five-year old children wounded by an explosion, apparently caused by a rocket which fell in the Gaza Strip
24. 12 - Tal al Hawa: Rocket falls on house of Imad al-Drimli, correspondent for a German news agency
26.12 – Beit Hanoun: Explosion kills two girls aged 5 and 13. Palestinian man wounded by a rocket transferred to Israel for medical treatment
December 27-31: (first five days of Operation Cast Lead) about 6.5% of the rockets fired at Israel fell in the Gaza Strip“Work accidents” resulting from preparing explosives in residential areas
What is a lawful ‘military objective’?
Additional Protocol I, Article 52 (2)
No general requirement of proportionality with armed conflict
Obligation to refrain from excessive civilian harm
Additional Protocol I, 51(5)(b)
Major General A.P.V. Rogers, a former Director of British Army Legal Services
United Kingdom declaration on signing API: "the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack".
"It is unlikely that a human rights lawyer and an experienced combat commander would assign the same relative values to military advantage and to injury to noncombatants.… It is suggested that the determination of relative values must be that of the 'reasonable military commander‘”“(Committee Established to Review NATO Bombings in Yugoslavia )
W. Hays Parks,
Air law and the Law of WarAbuse of proportionality principle- human shielding
Palestinian civilians used as human shields on the roof of Abu al-Hatal’s house in the Saja’iya area of Gaza City.”
Al-Aqsa TV, March 1, 2007
Hamas leader Fathi Hamad praises human shield strategy shields on Al-Aqsa TV, March 1, 2007
(click picture for link)
“effective advance warning shall be given of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit”
Additional Protocol I, 57(2)(c))
Two ambulances, marked “Red Cross” and “UN,” used to evacuate terrorists
(click picture for film)
Medicine bottles, brought in as humanitarian aid, converted to Hamas grenadesHumanity – Abuses of humanitarian protection
Justice Barak HCJ 769/02