Rule 1. The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilians and combatants. Attacks may only be directed against combatants. Attacks must not be directed against civilians.See the web site for the footnotes.
The principle of distinction between civilians and combatants was first set forth in the St. Petersburg Declaration, which states that “the only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy”. The Hague Regulations do not as such specify that a distinction must be made between civilians and combatants, but Article 25, which prohibits “the attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended”, is based on this principle. The principle of distinction is now codified in Articles 48, 51(2) and 52(2) of Additional Protocol I, to which no reservations have been made. According to Additional Protocol I, “attacks” means “acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence”.
Second, Hamas delivers their rocket attacks while hiding in and amongst the civilian population.
RETWEET THIS: Hamas terrorists use houses as command centers. We target them for a reason. #ProtectiveEdge pic.twitter.com/LjiQSYwSg0
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 12, 2014
Again, from the Red Cross (different page):
Rule 97. The use of human shields is prohibited.It's the law of the land, well the whole planet, for that matter. But it seems unlikely that justice will be done or the law enforced with respect to Hamas.
In the context of international armed conflicts, this rule is set forth in the Third Geneva Convention (with respect to prisoners of war), the Fourth Geneva Convention (with respect to protected civilians) and Additional Protocol I (with respect to civilians in general). Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.