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A top Israeli army commander boasts of coming war crimes
On the weekend of September 27th, a high-ranking Israeli army commander proudly boasted of his - and Israel's - intention to commit war crimes.
During a television interview in Israel, Northern Army Commander Gadi Eisenkot recalled the massive destruction Israel wrecked on Beirut and said:
"What happened in the Beirut suburb of Dahiya in 2006 will happen in every village from which shots are fired in the direction of Israel. We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases. This isn't a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized."
In two short sentences Eisenkot stated, with the world as his witness, his intention to violate the two central tenets of the international laws of war:
¥ The principle of distinction states that one must differentiate enemy combatants from enemy civilians, and only attack the former.
¥ The principle of proportionality states that even in attacks against enemy combatants, disproportional use of power is prohibited.
Eisenkot added, " that is the plan, aggressive shooting ... the possibility of harming the population is the only means for restraining (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah."
Eisenkot has given us all a rare peek into Israel's true goals behind the pulling of the trigger. These intentions are simple and clear, like the strategy of a terror organization: "to harm civilians until we achieve political goals."
Usually people hide criminal intentions, but not Eisenkot.
He should think again. Upholding international law is not a privilege or a choice. As a member of the global community, Israel is obliged to uphold international law. The same is true of its army commanders and soldiers.
The world is watching. And the International Criminal Court is waiting for war criminals - war criminals just like Commander Gadi Eisenkot.
Adapted from "The commander's criminal intent" by Israeli attorney Michael Sfardm, an expert in international law. Text published in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. See