Since the government of the State of Israel began it’s military operation in the Gaza Strip through its armed forces, a lot of questions are being asked. One of the most asked question so far is; Is Israel committing war crimes in Gaza? In this article, we explained and settled the debate as to whether Israel is committing war crimes in the strip or not.
The Israel Defence Force (IDF) commenced bombardment of the Strip immediately after the October 7 massacre orchestrated by Hamas’ armed group. The incident resulted in the death of more than 1,400 Israelis.
As every country has the right to self defence as enshrined in UN charters, the Israeli government decided to exercise that right. However, in the course of the Gaza operation, incidents took place that got several arguments underway, and one of these arguments is the possibility of Israel committing war crimes in the strip which hosted over 2.3 million people.
So, Is Israel committing war crimes in Gaza?
Yes, the State of Israel is committing serious war crimes in the densely populated strip. Also, the armed wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigade, has committed war crimes by taking hundreds of Israelis hostage and killing civilians in southern Israel.
Israel has the right to defend its people, and no doubt it is doing that. However, most of the country’s actions in the strip, according to multiple sources, is disproportionate and against rules that govern war.
Below are some of the war crimes the Israeli government has committed so far in the month-long war:
- Direct attacks on civilians: It has become evidently clear that the Israeli forces target civilian infrastructure on daily basis, killing thousands of occupants including children. The IDF bombed the places because they believe there were tunnels beneath them.
- Intentionally directing attacks against objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population: This includes objects such as hospitals, water purification plants, and food storage facilities. On October 17, IDF bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, leaving hundreds of patients and civilians who were sheltering there dead. However, the Israelis denied any involvement in the bombing and blamed Hamas for it.
- Indiscriminate attacks: Attacks or airstrikes that do not distinguish between combatants and civilians are also war crimes, per the Geneva Convention
- Destruction of cultural property: This includes the intentional destruction of objects or monuments of historical, artistic, or religious significance. Over 20 places of worship have been bombed in recent times.
- Forceful displacement of the population: For over two weeks, civilians in northern Gaza have been directed by the occupation forces to leave their homes and head south. And this amounts to war crimes because it is against the population’s will to head south.