The Gaza war is hardly over, and already the international community is screaming for war crimes investigations into the conduct of Israeli forces in their battle against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.
Very few of those calls are being tempered by demands that Hamas also be investigated for using human shields, and almost none are taking into account the supreme difficulty Israel faced in executing what was ultimately a defensive retaliatory action.
But Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein said the world had nothing to worry about in this regard, as the Jewish state has never shied away from investigation, and is more often than not its own harshest critic.
In a letter to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Weinstein recalled that in 2010, Israel itself established an independent, international tribunal to investigate the “Gaza flotilla raid” that resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals. The commission (pictured) was headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Judge Jacob Turkel, and included former Northern Irish First Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble, as well as Canadian former military judge Ken Watkin.
In a summary of its conclusions, the Turkel Commission determined that “the apparatus of investigation of complaints and claims about violations of the laws of warfare existing in Israel are, as a rule, in accordance with the obligations of the government of Israel according to the rules of international law.”
And that will continue to hold true in the aftermath of the Gaza war, Weinstein reassured.
The attorney-general insisted that “the many and gross violations of international law by Hamas do not detract from the obligations of the IDF and the State of Israel,” but cautioned observers to “not overlook the nature of the threat directed toward the State of Israel.”
Weinstein went on to explain what far too many in the international community seem to not want to hear:
“In their actions against Israel, the terrorist organizations make cynical and criminal use of the civilian population as a human shield against the actions of the IDF. As a result, unfortunately, even legal and proportional military attacks made in accordance with international law are going to result in unintentional and undesired civilian casualties.”
Nevertheless, Weinstein concluded his letter, “I want to clarify that every complaint or allegation in regards to the actions of IDF forces is and will be taken seriously.”