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IHL

  • The forced transfer of Palestinian detainees — why it matters

    International law is clear that prisoners should not be transferred outside of an occupied territory — both to allow their families access to them and to prevent forced population transfer. But that's not all that's at stake. By Gerard Horton Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military detention system should be held in facilities located in Palestine, as opposed to Israel, in accordance with international law, UNICEF recommended in its 2013 report, Children in Israeli Military Detention (2013). The latest figures released by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) indicate that since UNICEF made this recommendation the percentage of Palestinian children…

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  • Lessons from the UN Gaza report: Next stop, ICC?

    The Human Rights Council's independent inquiry is full of suspicions of war crimes. More important is what it has to say about how Israel investigates those allegations, and what that means for the International Criminal Court. To the relief of Israel and the chagrin of many others, the UN report into last summer’s war in Gaza is not an indictment of Israel. It does not declare conclusively that Israel committed war crimes and it is certainly not one-sided. The Human Rights Council report released on Monday is valuable, nevertheless, when read as a preview of what might transpire in a…

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  • Redefining civilians and legitimate targets: Israeli soldiers testify on Gaza war

    Two themes are present in almost all of the 60-plus testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence from Israeli soldiers who fought in the last Gaza war: loose rules of engagement and systematic, wanton destruction. But can the new documentation serve as a catalyst for change inside Israel? Internationally? By Mairav Zonszein and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization of military veterans, released on Monday a collection of testimonies from nearly 70 soldiers and officers who participated in Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip last summer. It has been 10 months since the 50-day assault, which killed…

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  • The casualties of the next Gaza war

    The awful experience of the past few years suggests that in about two years time will be ripe for yet another war with predictable outcomes: thousands of dead, each and every one of them a person who meant the world to their families and loved ones. By Hagai El-Ad One month after the end of the war in Gaza – was it the second Gaza war? The third? – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of the UN General Assembly and declared that, “no other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties…

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  • The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine

    When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong. By Sam Bahour The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using…

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  • Israeli, Hamas war crimes becoming increasingly hard to distinguish

    Both sides are guilty of violating international law but the source of an attack on a Gaza UN school could be a game changer. By Lolita Brayman An attack on a United Nations-run facility in northern Gaza sheltering displaced Palestinians left at least 15 civilians killed and many more wounded on Thursday morning, reports indicate. Israel and Hamas are pointing fingers and negating responsibility for the deadly incident, the circumstances of which remain unclear but are significant in light of the UN Human Rights Council’s recent launch of a commission of inquiry into alleged Israeli war crimes. The Israeli army is…

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  • The return of punitive home demolitions

    Israel orders the demolition of the family home of a man who has only been charged, and not convicted, of murder. A government official says the policy is being reinstated to 'level the playing field' with Palestinians, while human rights groups say the practice only harms innocents. The Israeli government announced that it will return to demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected and convicted of involvement in terrorism and other violence. The first demolition order was issued against the family home of a man accused of murdering an off-duty police officer and wounding his family earlier this year. Israeli…

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