Israel’s Commitment to Domestic and International Law

— All activities performed by Israel during the first intifada as well as nowadays are based on law. Israel follows the emergency defense regulations enacted by the British in Mandatory Palestine in 1945. They are similar to those enacted by the British against the IRA in Northern Ireland.

–Israel has established four main principles for implementing the laws of war in the fight against terrorism:

1) Military necessity – the obligation to use force only in a situation which yields a direct military advantage.

2) Distinction between combatants – those who take part directly in hostilities – and noncombatants.

3) Humanity – the obligation to refrain from operations which cause unnecessary suffering.

4) Proportionality – the obligation to ensure that the action does not target in a manner disproportionate to the military advantage expected from the attack.

–Israel classifies terrorists the same way the Americans classify terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq – as unlawful combatants. They do not have the privilege to be under the umbrella of international law because they do not adhere to the laws of war. Rather, they have violated every possible provision of the laws of war. They don’t wear uniforms or abide by the conditions that entitle them to be POWS.

–Once we define terrorists as unlawful combatants, they become legitimate military targets. It is allowed both legally and morally to fight and kill them. They want to come and kill us, and there is no question regarding the evidence. They’ve manifestly and openly declared their intentions.

–We are entitled from a legal point of view, as a total act of self-defense, to target them. If we can catch them and bring them to trial, that’s better. But if this is not possible, we should be allowed to shoot them down.

–The Geneva Convention was enacted in 1949 and The Hague Regulations in 1907. There was no such terrorism at the time, and there exists no special convention or protocol against terrorism. There is certainly a need for one.

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