Netanyahu Details Hizballah’s War Crimes

October 1, 2020 | Orde Kittrie
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At the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the Israeli prime minister drew attention to Hizballah’s use of human shields, pointing out three locations where the Iran-backed terrorist group has constructed factories for the production of precision-guided missiles: two beneath multistory apartment buildings and one in an urban residential neighborhood in close proximity to gas installations. Such behavior not only exhibits reckless disregard for human life, but also violates international law. It is also a useful tactic, as Orde Kittrie explains:

U.S., Israeli, and other armed forces have repeatedly been confronted with human shields use by terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah, and Islamic State. Terrorists hide behind human shields (a) to cause Western armed forces to self-impose restraints that render them less effective, and (b) to delegitimize lawful military operations, erode the Western will to fight, and to spur anger at the West by generating civilian casualties for that the terrorists can blame Western militaries. Terrorists engage in the actual war crime of using human shields so that they can falsely accuse U.S., Israeli, and other Western armed forces of engaging in war crimes.

Hizbllah’s use of human shields has been remarkably effective in achieving these objectives. It also puts civilians in danger of explosives accidents, such as those that recently decimated the port of Beirut and detonated a Hizballah arms depot in the Lebanese village of Ain Qana.

Yet Western countries have not yet responded by penalizing, prosecuting, or otherwise holding Hizballah, other terrorist groups, and their leaders and material supporters accountable for using human shields.

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