Leil-Zahra Mortada

making noise, and more noise

Even if Hamas…

GazaWhat is happening in Gaza is massively problematic whether Hamas kidnapped and killed the three teens or not. What is happening in Gaza is massively problematic whether Hamas is representative of the Palestinians in Gaza or not. 

The internet is raging with the “discovery” that not Hamas nor any Palestinian political party is behind the murdering of the three Israeli teens. A crime that was used by the Israeli government as one of the main reasons to wage war on Gaza, and garner public support in and out of Israel. Some of these sources state that the Israeli government knew that all along.

Now, many are arguing that since this was a “homicide” and not a “political kidnapping/murder” then what is happening in Gaza loses its possible “justified” grounds – at least in the discourse of the Israeli government. Adding to that a “shock” that Netanyahu’s government knew all along and still used the death of the boys in manipulative PR campaigns like “Bring Back Our Boys” building up to the war on Gaza. This morning I read repeatedly that since this had no political faction behind it, then the “criminals” acted in their own names and cannot be considered “representatives of the Palestinian people” and thus what is happening in Gaza is yet “more problematic”.

What is happening in Gaza is collective punishment and collective punishment is a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention irrespective of who killed or kidnapped the boys. Article 33: “No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.” Same goes to bombing hospitals and ambulances, and a long list of other heinous crimes, internationally marked (yet ignored) as crimes under the Geneva Convention and its protocols.

Even if Hamas or any other Palestinian faction kidnapped the three Israeli teens and killed them, the war on Gaza is still collective punishment and is still a violation of international agreements and humane grounds.

Even if Hamas or any other Palestinian faction were representative of everyone in Gaza – which is not the case. What is happening in Gaza is still collective punishment.

Even if Hamas or any other Palestinian faction were using the civilians in Gaza as human shields, with or against their will – which is not the case. Bombing civilian areas, schools, and hospitals, and even militia bases with a high percentage of civilians in them is still wrong and in violation of the civilian protection codes agreed upon internationally.

Even if whatever the Israeli governmental propaganda is saying was true, or whatever they will say in the future will be true; what is happening in Gaza is still big time crime. It is collective punishment. There is nothing that can justify it.

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