The Israeli politicians say that their war on Hamas will go on whatever it takes. This means they have given themselves the right to have a free hand. But as long as there are the laws of wars, going beyond them must be a crime against humanity.
However as long as it’s unlikely that Israel can face international sanctions from its allies, mainly the EU and the USA - its major economic and political partners, it will continue to bombard Gaza at will. The irony is that NATO was able to intervene militarily in ex-Yugoslavia to stop ethnic cleansing there and the international forces led by the USA invaded in Iraq. Now the international community is watching Israel pound its bombs in civilian areas and “calmly” asking for a ceasefire. As such Israel isn’t just defending itself but it’s being defended by its allies on behalf of which it is waging a war against Hamas.
In short, Israel in its history of bloody attacks is used to the pattern of diplomatic condemnations and angry wide public protests. It has a deaf ear to them because the drones of the engines of its weapons and the sounds of the explosion are louder than them. Israel doesn’t need justifications as it has no one to account for its actions. It’s the law of the strong against the weak, not the modern laws of war.
Israel has the right to defend itself, but not at the expense of the innocent civilians caught in the fire attacks. The Israelis exposed to Hamas rockets have only fear to deal with, considering the casualties when contrasting 14 Israeli killed by Hamas rockets versus 5,000 Palestinians killed by Israel sophisticated weapons in the past seven years.
Israel can reserve the right to respond to those who attack it, but not through indiscriminate killing which it euphemistically can call collateral damage.
The best way for Israel to defend itself is not to allow extremism grow around its borders and beyond, by being realistic about its approaches to its conflict with the Palestinians. One of the approaches can be for it to speed up the establishment of a Palestinian state and not to use Hamas and Iran as an excuse for further delays.
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