Disregarding Reality, Yet Again: The Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry Report

Gaza City during an Israeli air strike, July 9, 2014. Photo: AFP

Gaza City during an Israeli air strike, July 9, 2014. Photo: AFP

Institute for National Security Studies (July 9)

  • The report by the Commission of Inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine the 2014 Gaza war concludes that Israel’s military operations violated the laws of armed conflict and expressed concern regarding the possible commission of war crimes. The report reflects a clear lack of consideration of the actual realities of warfare, drawing conclusions based on pronouncements that are factually and legally dubious.
  • During the war, the IDF fought against armed groups that employed an intentional strategy of systematic violation of the laws of armed conflict. Yet the report examines Israel’s actions in a detached and one-sided manner, without relating to the actions of its adversaries.
  • Numerous civilian casualties resulting from attacks on targets located in populated areas do not necessarily mean that the attack was disproportionate and therefore illegal. The commission’s analysis assumes the existence of some alternative course of action that was not followed. However, beyond the provision of warnings and the use of weapons that were as precise as possible, how could the extensive harm to civilians have been prevented, except by refraining from attack altogether?
  • But how – without these attacks – could Hamas have been prevented from continuing to fire at Israeli citizens? In the absence of answers to these questions, the commission’s assertions remain accusations with no basis in reality.
  • Based on Israel’s failure to issue significant indictments for acts of warfare, the commission concluded that “impunity prevails across the board” for violations of international law. This reflects a baseless assumption that the absence of indictments for war crimes is indicative of a cover-up, rather than indicative of the fact that war crimes were either not committed or could not be proven on a criminal level.

Click here for full report.

Leave a Reply