Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rule 2 of ICRC's Customary IHL is "Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited." It quotes Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I prohibits “acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population.”

During last summer's Gaza war, Hamas explicitly threatened Israelis. They sent a SMS message to many Israeli phones:
Your government claimed yesterday that it stopped the battle, but without our consent and meeting our conditions - and it thought we were rash enough to [agree to a] cease-fire. On the contrary, we hurried to strike anywhere in Israel - from Dimona to Haifa - and we made you hide in shelters like mice. . .

Again, we warn you - if your government does not agree to all of our conditions, then all of Israel will legally remain open to our weapons fire.

Izz - Eddine al-Qassam Brigades
Hamas also released Hebrew langiage videos explicitly threatening Israeli civilians.

 But the UNHRC Davis report doesn't mention any of this. The only messages that they mention from Hamas to Israel are those that they interpret as possible "warnings" to Israeli civilians to seek shelter:
Airlines were warned in advance of the possible targeting of the airport, providing them with the time to suspend flights. Warning civilians in Tel Aviv that a rocket would be fired in the direction of the city at 9 p.m. provided the opportunity for residents to seek shelter. Warning civilians to evacuate communities located in the vicinity of the Green Line could also realistically be acted upon because -- unlike in Gaza -- residents could flee to other areas of Israel less exposed to threats, in great part due to the existence of the Iron Dome system.
Of course, these warnings were threats. When Hamas said they would shoot rockets at the airport, their intent was to shut down Ben Gurion and isolate Israel from the world, not to save lives.

Other "warnings" of theirs never materialized, so the purpose was to terrorize, not to save lives.

In other words, Hamas' threats that are violations of international law were, when noted, regarded as possible mitigation to violations of international law by the David commission!

(h/t Bob K for graphics)


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