Israel-Hamas and the Law of Armed Conflict

As in previous conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel’s military operations in Gaza face prevalent accusations that they often result in war crimes and that Israel’s actions to defend itself against armed attacks are unjustified or unlawful. As a result, it is crucially important to clarify the key principles of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) and the systematic efforts by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to comply with the requirements of these laws – even as its adversaries like Hamas systemically violate this law and exploit widespread misunderstandings of LOAC to delegitimize Israel’s self-defense measures and generate pressure on Israel to limit or terminate legally justified military action.

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LTC Geoffrey Corn, USA (ret.) – Distinguished Fellow