Israeli "Response" to Gaza: Blurring the Line

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While I was in London last week, I discussed Israel's ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip with Palestine solidarity activist Frank Barat and filmmaker Sophie Stern. During our lengthy conversation, I described how Israel's doctrine of "asymmetrical warfare" has deliberately blurred the line between civilians and soldiers, and how Israeli military and legal theorists have marketed the doctrine to the West in order to unravel international law:

The military doctrine that governs Israel's behavior in Gaza does away with two of the 4th Geneva Convention's most important components: The Principle of Proportionality, which requires militaries to respond to attacks with proportionate force in order to avoid harming civilians, and the Principle of Distinction, which requires militaries to distinguish between civilians and combatants. As one of the authors of the doctrine, Asa Kasher, remarked, "If it's between the soldier and the terrorist's neighbor, the priority is the soldier."

Unsurprisingly, the philosophy behind Israel's recent attacks on the Gaza Strip has produced a shocking number of civilian casualties. Yesterday, after agreeing to a cease fire with Hamas, Israeli forces killed ten people in Gaza and wounded 30 others. Only a small fraction of the casualties were known resistance fighters. The death toll began last week when Israel deployed dubious evidence to blame a series of attacks near the Israeli city of Eilat on factions in Gaza (a week later, there is still no evidence that any Gazan faction was responsible for the attacks).

One of the first residents of Gaza killed in the Israeli airstrikes was Mahmoud Abu Samrah, a 12 year old student from the Al-Qastena School in Northern Gaza. My friend Nuha Masri met Abu Samrah two weeks ago and interviewed him about his experiences. on August 19 at 00:35, just days after Masri met him, his short life was ended.


> Only a small fraction of the casualties were known resistance fighters.

Can you be more specific? How many of them were resistance fighters?

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