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Israel, Gaza and “Proportionality” by Louis René Beres (Gatestone Inst.)

By   /   May 19, 2016  /   No Comments

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May 19, 2016

  • It appears that several major Palestinian terror groups have begun to prepare for mega-terror attacks on Israel.
  • The authoritative rules of war do not equate “proportionality” with how many people die in each side of a conflict. In war, no side is ever required to respond to aggression with only the equivalent measure of force. Rather, the obligations of proportionality require that no side employ any level of force that is greater than what is needed to achieve a legitimate political and operational objective.
  • Under pertinent international law, the use of one’s own people as “human shields” — because such firing from populated areas is intended to deter Israeli reprisals, or to elicit injuries to Palestinian civilians — represents a codified war crime. More specifically, this crime is known as “perfidy.” This is plainly an attempt to make the IDF appear murderous when it is compelled to retaliate, but it is simply a Palestinian manipulation of legal responsibility. Under law, those Arab residents who suffer from Israeli retaliations are incurring the consequences of their own government’s war crimes.
  • International law is not a suicide pact. Instead, it offers a universally binding body of rules and procedures that allows all states to act on behalf of their “inherent right of self-defense.”

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