Young Israel: Gaza Rocket Attacks Aimed at Israeli Civilians Is a War Crime

November 14, 2018

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today issued the following statement regarding the latest round of violence aimed at Israel from Gaza. Over four-hundred rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since Monday.

“The National Council of Young Israel unequivocally supports Israel’s right to take whatever steps are necessary to protect itself against the incessant rocket attacks from Gaza. As rockets rain down on its cities and citizens, Israel is completely justified in engaging in self-defense measures intended to put a stop to the all-out assault that Hamas has launched against the Jewish State.

“While Israel’s response has been to strike military targets in Gaza, Hamas has engaged in the cowardly and callous practice of intentionally attacking civilians. We believe that Hamas’ actions constitute a war crime, in that they violate Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and are a serious infringement of the Geneva Convention. By knowingly targeting the civilian population which is not involved in the conflict and civilian objects that are not military objectives, and deliberately launching attacks knowing they will lead to the loss of life or injury of civilians and destroy civilian objects, Hamas is willfully and wantonly perpetrating war crimes that warrant swift and serious repercussions from the international community.

“We are gravely concerned that the United Nations has yet to take official steps to condemn the terrorist organization Hamas for its clear breach of international law by purposely targeting civilians. Under the circumstances, calling for restraint from both Israel and Hamas is inappropriate, in that it makes it appear as if both parties are at fault and acting immorally. Without placing the blame squarely on Hamas for violating international law, the UN is not deterring Hamas from repeating such criminal actions in the future. The UN must denounce Hamas and call for an immediate end to the barrage of rockets that is aimed at Israeli homes and population centers.

“We thank the United States and the Trump administration for standing with Israel during this difficult time, denouncing the rocket attacks, and voicing Israel’s clear right to defend itself. In light of the ongoing assault from Gaza, we urge the United States to consider investing additional funds in the production and further development of the life-saving Iron Dome missile defense system, which has proved to be so effective in protecting civilians from deadly rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. We greatly appreciate the benevolence of the United States and are grateful that they provide so much financial assistance to Israel in conjunction with its missile defense operations; however, with the renewed rocket attacks from Gaza, the need to continue furnishing funds to expand the Iron Dome is as apparent as ever.”