Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014

BTselem Haj Gaza10July2014modified

B’Tselem, a Secretariat partner, with activities in Jerusalem, the rest of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, just released its Black Flag, a report dealing with aspects of the Israeli war on Gaza during summer 2014.

According to B’Tselem, the Israeli attack on the Kaware’ family on 8 July 2014 signaled the beginning of a wave of attacks, resulting - by the end of the war - in the death of hundreds of civilians.

To produce the Report, “B’Tselem investigated 70 incidents in each of which at least three people were killed while inside their home. A total of 606 Palestinians were killed in such incidents, the vast majority of whom took no part in the fighting: more than 70% were either under 18, over 60 or women.”

B’Tselem concluded that Israeli attacks on civilian homes were the “result of a policy formulated by government officials and the senior military command.” Further, examination of the cases B’Tselem investigated indicated “that, at least in some cases, the military’s actions ran contrary to IHL provisions and, in other cases, there is grave concern that they did so.”

According to B’Tselem, the large civilian death toll as a result of the attacks investigated can be attributed to three main reasons:

A. Broad definition of what constitutes a “military objective” that may be targeted

B. Flexible interpretation of the concept of lawful “collateral damage”

C. Warning absent or ineffective

Note: Photo (C) by B'Tselem, modified to conform to website requirements.

Ras Al-Tahouneh ST, near Al-Muqata'a
Al-Bireh, Palestine
Phone: 02 297 4563/4
Fax: 02 297 4565
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Tomouh Building (Jawwal), Al-Jala'
Gaza City, Palestine
Phone: 08 288 3115
Fax: 08 288 3114
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The views expressed in this publication
are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the
Secretariat, Niras NATURA AB, Birzeit University,
or the donor governments.