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Is Israel Breaking the Laws of War in Gaza?

Palestinians check the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike the previous night in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP) (Photo by BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images)

BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images

Is Israel Breaking the Laws of War in Gaza?

Palestinians check the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike the previous night in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP) (Photo by BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images)

BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images

Is Israel Breaking the Laws of War in Gaza?

On October 31st Israeli military forces bombed the Jabalia refugee camp just north of Gaza City. They said the area was a Hamas stronghold that included underground tunnels and a command center, and that they were targeting a Hamas commander there. The health ministry in Gaza says the strike caused a large number of civilian casualties. So what are the rules of war that might apply to such situations? NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Tom Dannenbaum, an associate professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy about the rules of war in an urban setting. Email us at considerthis@npr.org

Palestinians check the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike the previous night in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP) (Photo by BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images)

BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images

 

On October 31st Israeli military forces bombed the Jabalia refugee camp just north of Gaza City.

They said the area was a Hamas stronghold that included underground tunnels and a command center, and that they were targeting a Hamas commander there.

The health ministry in Gaza says the strike caused a large number of civilian casualties. So what are the rules of war that might apply to such situations?

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Tom Dannenbaum, an associate professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy about the rules of war in an urban setting.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org

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