Earlier this month, terrorists in Gaza resumed firing rockets and mortars at Israel and met with swift, if limited, counterattacks from the Israel Air Force. While Israel’s response seems to have stopped the attacks for the time being, critics are already murmuring about Jerusalem’s supposedly disproportionate response and alleged violation of international law. Louis René Beres explains that it is Hamas, not Israel, that has violated international law by committing the war crime known as “perfidy,” i.e., using its own civilians as human shields:
Hamas’s intent [is] to incriminate the Israelis as murderers of Gaza’s civilians. Legally, however, the net effect of Arab perfidy in Gaza is to free Israel of all responsibility for Arab harm, even if it is Israeli retaliatory fire that actually injures or kills the Gazan victims. Under law, those Arab residents who suffer from Israeli retaliations are incurring the consequences of their own government’s war crimes. Palestinian suffering, which we are surely about to see again in stepped-up, choreographed Arab propaganda videos, remains the direct result of a relentlessly cruel, insensitive, and criminal Hamas leadership.
Significant, too, although never really mentioned, is that this Hamas leadership . . . often sits safely away from Gaza, tucked away inconspicuously in Qatar. For these markedly unheroic figures, “martyrdom” is allegedly always welcomed and revered, but only as long as that singular honor is actually conferred upon someone else.