Sunday, November 12, 2023

Hamas doesn't even pretend to adhere to any laws of war

The Al Qassam Brigades website had been down for a couple of weeks, but they found an Internet host and have come back.

The photos on the site shows their members fighting and posing with weapons.

All or nearly all of the photos show that they are in civilian clothing.

International law states that "combatants have an obligation to distinguish themselves from the civilian population and this can be achieved by wearing a uniform." (A headband or visible armband would be adequate as well.) 

The reason is obvious: since one of the cornerstones of the laws of armed conflict is the principle of distinction between civilian and military objects, fighters dressed in civilian clothing are meant to make it possible for the attacker to make that distinction and not attack civilians.

This video shows that people in medic uniforms in Gaza are acting as combatants. Notice the "medic" not helping the injured fighter but taking his weapon to give to another fighter (both of whom are also in civilian clothing.)

I cannot see the logo on the "medic's" vest, but if it is that of a recognized sign like the Red Crescent, this is a separate war crime, perfidy

One could argue that when hiding among civilians and purposely using the protected status of hospitals, schools, mosques and other civilian objects and uniforms as a some of the key strategies of war , it affects the calculation of proportionality when planning an attack, at least when the people in the area are men of fighting age as in this video. 

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