Amnesty: Gaza is Still Under Israeli Occupation



By: JONATHAN DAHOAH HALEVI, TRANSLATION ELAD BENARI  
Published: June 2nd 2010
in News » Israel

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Amnesty claims that Israel is an occupying country and is responsible for the welfare of Gaza’s residents. According to this definition, does Israel need to act against the Hamas government in order to care for the welfare and safety of Gaza’s residents?

 

The State of Israel has an obligation to protect its citizens. It has an obligation to distinguish between military targets and civil targets. When Israel hit legitimate military targets we did not criticize it, because we are not a pacifist organization and we don’t deal with conflict solving, so when Israel hit military targets you didn’t hear any criticism from Amnesty. We certainly criticize Hamas for the internal violence it applies, the illegal executions and imprisonments. We sounded very strong criticism against Hamas’ conduct on these issues.

 

The question is whether Israel is committed, being an occupying force as Amnesty defines, to be concerned for the welfare of Gaza’s residents and therefore act against the Hamas government and the Palestinian terrorist organizations that control Gaza, in order to protect the Palestinian population?

 

Israel has a duty to protect its citizens.

 

Amnesty’s messages said that Israel should take care to protect the people of Gaza. Is the issue of the security of the people of Gaza not an authority which Israel has?

 

Israel’s duty is to protect its citizens and ensure that the people of Gaza enjoy all the social and economic rights recognized in international law and in the Geneva convention.

 

So if Hamas is violating the rights of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to live, as defined in international law, does Israel not have the authority to act against the Hamas government to care for the safety of the people of Gaza?

 

The problem is first and foremost the rights of the people of Gaza which Israel violates by the illegal siege.

 

Assuming Israel is attacked by non-conventional weapons causing many casualties, how should a democratic country respond? Can it only attack military targets or can it expand its targets?

 

The answer is simple and unequivocal. The State of Israel has an obligation as all countries do to distinguish between military targets and civil targets even at the price of giving up on military achievements.

 

What if Syria or Hezbollah attack Haifa using chemical weapons?

 

I am not referring to these options since I don’t know if they are options or not.

 

Does Amnesty not discuss the possibility of attacks with chemical weapons?

 

Amnesty does not deal with assessments on how conflicts are conducted.

 

But that happened during the Iran Iraq war. How should a country respond to an attack using chemical weapons?

 

I don’t deal with speculations on what a certain person might do. I don’t know how to answer this question. I do know how to answer to the basic question of how Israel, as any other country, should respond when attacked.

 

What does international law say?


Related articles: (amnesty international, occupation, siege, Itai Epstein)
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