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Strategies & Market Trends : World Outlook

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To: Les H who wrote (42519)6/15/2024 11:13:09 AM
From: Les H   of 43005
The international criminal court should investigate Israel’s hostage rescue raid
Kenneth Roth

The Gaza health ministry, whose numbers have generally proved reliable, says that at least 274 Palestinians were killed in the operation and more than 600 wounded. The ministry does not distinguish combatants from civilians, but it reports that the dead included 64 children and 57 women, or 44% of the total. Given that many of the men who were killed in the course of the operation were in a nearby market, we must assume that a good proportion of them were civilians as well. That is a horrible civilian toll.

International humanitarian law requires that a military refrain from launching an assault if the anticipated civilian toll “would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated”. It is reasonable to conclude that the Israeli operation fell short of this standard.

All the more so given questions about its necessity. With the rescue of these four hostages, Israeli military operations have freed a total of seven hostages alive. By contrast, more than 100 hostages were released as a result of Israel’s November 2023 ceasefire deal with Hamas. Few doubt that another deal will be necessary to bring most of the remaining hostages home alive. The negotiations have been painfully slow, in part because the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seems to prioritize his elusive goal of destroying Hamas over the freeing of the hostages.

Israel notes that Hamas endangered civilians by holding the hostages in a densely populated neighborhood in Nuseirat in central Gaza. International humanitarian law requires militaries to take “all feasible precautions” to spare civilians, which Hamas violated by holding the hostages in two apartment buildings in Nuseirat, but that does not relieve Israel of the separate duty to avoid an attack that causes disproportionate harm to civilians. Palestinian civilians do not stop being civilians just because they are endangered by Hamas.

The idea of gaining sympathy for civilians caught in the crossfire went out the window when Israel decided to fund Hamas to attack Israeli civilians and military alike in order to manufacture pretexts for larger IDF operations. The whole premise is for Israel to paint itself as a victim by helping the other side throw the "first" punch.
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