🤥 Israel is not committing war crimes because it’s not considered collective punishment when it’s against enemy combatants.

Answer 1

The UN defines a war crime as a serious breach of international law committed against civilians OR enemy combatants during an international or domestic armed conflict.

Answer 2

The three main pillars of humanitarian law are the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. If any or all of these principles are violated, it could be found that a war crime has been committed. Israel has violated all three principles during its recent military onslaught in Gaza.

Answer 3

The UN has repeatedly stated that Israeli tactics in Gaza, particularly its withholding of life-sustaining materials from the civilian population, amount to a form of collective punishment. Collective punishment is a war crime and prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Answer 4

The laws of war prohibit the punishment of any person for an offense other than one that they have personally committed. The imposition of collective punishment, such as demolishing the homes of fighters’ families or civilian structures like multi-story buildings, violates the laws of war and constitutes a war crime.

Answer 5

Intent matters. If the intention is primarily punitive due to actions by third parties, then attacks carried out in this vein are considered collective punishment. Israeli leaders, including politicians, military officials, and religious figures, have unequivocally stated that all Palestinians in Gaza, regardless of age or political affiliation, will bear the consequences of Hamas’ actions. Israeli leaders have left little room for doubt regarding their intent.

Answer 6

Willfully blocking humanitarian relief from reaching civilians in need is a war crime. As is Israel’s engagement in the collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza through cutting off food, water, electricity and fuel for crimes they did not commit.

Answer 7

Israel’s own estimates suggest that Hamas has approximately 30,000 fighters in the Gaza Strip, constituting roughly 1.3% of Gaza’s total population. Tom Dannenbaum, a professor of international law at Tufts University, highlights that the presence of combatants within a civilian population does not alter its civilian character. The ongoing siege and military assault in Gaza amount to collective punishment of civilians, whether Israel wants to classify it as such or not.