New report on legal aspects of Gaza Strip border restrictions

With the BBC having self-conscripted last summer to the campaign (also promoted by Hamas, assorted ‘humanitarian’ agencies and NGOs) against the border restrictions on the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel as a means ofKerem Shalom curbing terrorism against its civilians and with inaccurate BBC use of the term ‘collective punishment’ sadly not a rare occurrence, readers will no doubt be interested to read a new JCPA report which addresses both those topics.

The report by international human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner is titled “Israel and the Gaza Strip: Why Economic Sanctions Are Not Collective Punishment” and it can be found here.


JCPA e-book on Operation Protective Edge

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has produced an interesting e-book about last summer’s conflict between Hamas and Israel which includes a lot of useful information, graphics and videos.

A house in Be'er Sheva after a missile hit on 13/7/14. Photo credit: IDF

A house in Be’er Sheva after a missile hit on 13/7/14. Photo credit: IDF

In the overview, under the sub-heading ‘The War’s Other Victim: The Truth’ contributor Hirsh Goodman writes:

“Operation Protective Edge escalated into 50 days of conflict during which Hamas and other groups fired 4,258 rockets and countless mortar rounds into Israel. Israel responded with 5,226 air strikes and a limited ground campaign. The actual death count in Gaza is still an open question, but has been put at over 2,100 combatants and civilians. Israel suffered 74 dead. Had the Iron Dome system not intercepted 735 rockets fired from Gaza and calculated to be on trajectories toward densely populated areas, the Israeli casualty count would have been incalculably higher.

The dead and wounded, however, were not the only casualties of this war. Truth was another.

The evidence of Hamas’ war crimes and violations of all accepted humanitarian norms is plentiful and irrefutable, ranging from the placement of headquarters under hospitals, tunnel entrances under houses, and rocket launchers in schools, to the storage of weapons in mosques. The list is nearly endless. To cite just one example: in an interview with CBC News on July 30, John Ging, the UN OCHA director, said: “Yes, the armed groups [in Gaza] are firing their rockets into Israel from the vicinity of UN facilities and residential areas, absolutely.” […]

This is not the image many have of the war, partly because for 50 days public opinion was fed by Hamas-controlled reportage and footage, skillfully framed to conform to the “victim doctrine.” Casualty figures from dubious sources, with nothing to back them up, were reported as gospel. Few in the international media based in Gaza during the war (or their editors back home) dared challenge the restrictions imposed on them, fearful of reprisal.”

That last paragraph will certainly ring true for those who followed the BBC’s coverage of the conflict.

Readers can find the whole e-book at this link


A quiz for BBC journalists and editors

Seeing as BBC journalists are rather fond of telling their audiences what is or is not legal according to international law – at least in relation to Israel – they will surely all get top marks in this quiz on the subject of the application of international humanitarian law during wartime over on the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs website.


The same website has a large collection of essays on various aspects of international law which readers may find interesting and useful.

JCPA International Law