Tundra Tabloid reader Daniel makes the following observation:
“Inspired by the article “How Should Israel Respond to War Crimes – Accusations from the War in Lebanon?”, I visited the homepage of ICRC. I read parts of the “Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977″ And it is very clear that the Palestinians’ successful use of human shields to stop the IAF from destroying a house suspected of being used to store explosives this week is prohibited. Daniel”
Daniel is of course correct, and anyone taking the time to read the Conventions will quickly recognize the fact that, the status of “protected persons” is conditional. Much depends upon whether or not the civilian is actively aiding and abetting the enemy, or near a legal target. That the terrorists were involved in a firefight with IDF forces completely moves the area in which they took refuge a legal target, and anyone wishing to provide them cover are at risk of becoming a target as well.
Art 51- Protection of the civilian population
7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.
8. Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the Parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians, including the obligation to take the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57.
And of course the Kassam missiles against Sderot are prohibited, too.
1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.
2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.
3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.
4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
(a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;
(b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or(c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol;and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.
Thanks Daniel, I have been making that point for years, I wonder what Finland’s UPI analysts make of it. KGS