Aug. 23, 2018
Get Serious about Human Shields – Mark Dubowitz and Orde Kittrie
Terrorists’ use of human shields is a remarkably effective tactic against countries like the U.S. and Israel, whose ethical and military codes require avoiding civilian casualties. Terrorists hide among civilians to shelter themselves from lawful attack or deliberately cause civilian casualties. The use of human shields is proscribed by the Geneva Conventions. In August 2016, Islamic State fighters fleeing Manbij, Syria, escaped destruction by placing civilians in each of 500 vehicles in their retreating convoy. U.S. forces didn’t fire on the cars.te
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, admitted that the Hamas-organized “March of Return” campaign at the Gaza border was designed to generate civilian casualties – to sacrifice “that which is most dear to us – the bodies of our women and children.”
Terrorists and their sponsoring regimes must be held accountable for their brutal practice of using civilians as human shields. Sanctions for using human shields could lead to prosecution in European courts and counter false claims that Western democracies are to blame for harm to these civilians.
Mark Dubowitz is chief executive at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Orde Kittrie, a law professor at Arizona State University, is a senior fellow at FDD. (Wall St. Journal)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)