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International Humanitarian Law in Israel-Hamas Conflict.



  Oct 25, 2023

International Humanitarian Law and the Israel-Hamas Conflict



What is the purpose of International Humanitarian Law?

A: International humanitarian law, also known as the law of armed conflict, is designed to constrain the ways wars are fought. Its primary objective is to protect non-combatants and set limitations on the means and methods of warfare.

How does International Humanitarian Law view the Israel-Hamas conflict?

A: International humanitarian law aims to protect civilians and ensure that all combatants, whether state or non-state actors, conduct warfare within its confines.
Violations include attacks targeting civilians, using methods of warfare that cause unnecessary suffering, and engaging in collective punishment. Both Israel and Hamas have faced accusations of violating these principles in various conflicts.

What is the concept of “collective punishment”?

A: Collective punishment, prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention, refers to punishing a group for the actions of an individual or a subset of that group. It goes against the principle of individual criminal responsibility, which dictates that only those who commit crimes should be held accountable.

How does International Humanitarian Law define an “occupying power”?

A: An occupying power is a nation or entity that exercises authority over a territory it does not formally own. Such powers have specific obligations under international humanitarian law, including the duty to protect civilians and respect their human rights.

Can non-state actors like Hamas be held accountable under International Humanitarian Law?

A: Yes. International humanitarian law applies to all combatants, whether they are state or non-state actors. Violations can result in charges of war crimes in international courts, such as the International Criminal Court.

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