The author of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Code of Conduct has strongly defended the military’s use of "the enemy’s" civilians as human shields.
Asa Kasher, known as the forces’ "ethic" guru, said on Tuesday "there are situations in which the use of the enemy’s civilian population to defuse a potentially explosive situation is not only ethically permissible, it also saves lives," Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported.
The remarks came after two Israeli soldiers were convicted of using a Palestinian boy as a human shield during Tel Aviv’s December 2008-January 2009 war on the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.
The troops had recklessly endangered the life of the nine-year-old boy by forcing him to check suspected booby traps.
Human rights groups say the conviction proves Tel Aviv committed war crimes in Gaza, said Press TV’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip on Monday.
“This is a new indicator, shows that the Israeli occupation forces committed war crimes against the Palestinians. And this required a follow-up from the international community to get the Israeli real war criminals, the Israel leaders to specialized courts, as what happened in the ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda,” Amjad Shawa of the Palestinian NGO Network told the correspondent.
The United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, also known as the ‘Goldstone Report,’ has accused Tel Aviv of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the offensives.
Those, the report holds, include deliberately targeting of the civilians and the forces’ "systematically reckless" way of determining the use of white phosphorus in built-up areas, notably on the UN Relief and Works Agency compound in the Gaza City as well as two Gaza-based hospitals.