State Department: If Hamas operates behind civilians, Israel has no right to defend itselfoperating outside a UNRWA school in Rafah on Sunday, the US State Department came up with an appalling misstatement of international law.
The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed. The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces. We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties. UN facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians. We call for a full and prompt investigation of this incident as well as the recent shelling of other UNRWA schools.So what are we supposed to do? Let the 'militants' keep operating? Would the Obama administration approve of a situation where terrorists could operate wherever they please by hiding behind civilians?
And who exactly was killed on Sunday outside that school in Gaza? Do the people lying on the ground in the picture above look like women and children or like military-age men? There's another picture here. Women and children or military age men?
Review pics of UN Rafah school attack. Appears 1-2 kids & 6-7 mil aged men. 1 child is too many ,but ratio 1 civ: 4 combatants unprecedented
— Lenny Ben-David (@lennybendavid) August 3, 2014
Israel must do more to meet its own standards? Isn't the pot calling the kettle black? The school was untouched!
What Jen Psaki of the State Department said on Sunday contradicts the Geneva Convention:
Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:
The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operationsArticle 51/7 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions (adopted in June 1977) specifies:
The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.But that standard - which is accepted by nearly every country on earth, but not by Hamas - is not enough for Israel in the Obama administration's opinion. We have to take hundreds of casualties (God Forbid) while Hamas hides behind its women and children. In the State Department's world, we have no right of self-defense.
Regardless of how close our relations are with the United States, no country can live like that.
Much more here.