Monday, July 14, 2014

Hamas' War Crimes

Hamas is committing multiple war crimes.  In a more just world, Hamas leadership would suffer the same fate as convicted Nazi war criminals, to be hung by the neck until dead.  First, they are launching indiscriminate attacks aimed at civilian populations.  The rocket attacks on Israel violate International law as set forth in multiple treaties.  From the Red Cross' web site on international humanitarian law:
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.
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”.[1]  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.[2]  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.[3]  According to Additional Protocol I, “attacks” means “acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence”.[4] 
See the web site for the footnotes.

Second, Hamas delivers their rocket attacks while hiding in and amongst the civilian population.

Again, from the Red Cross (different page):
Rule 97. The use of human shields is prohibited.
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).[1]  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.[2] 
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.

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