"As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned"
With nearly half a century of occupation of a territory acquired through military conquest, Israel is no stranger to abuses of international legal norms. Despite the overwhelming evidence, Israel has consistently claimed that it breaks no laws…in its opinion. In what was one of the most egregious and clearly evidenced cases of gross misconduct in recent memory, the Israeli military unleashed a deadly missile salvo at four Palestinian children that were kicking around a soccer ball on a Gaza beach during last summer's "Operation Protective Edge." Late last week, the Israeli Military Advocate General said that the attack "accorded with Israeli domestic law and international law requirements." The claim was that the Israel military was targeting a "compound belonging to Hamas's Naval Police and Naval Force." In the heart-rending accounts by journalists that watched the events unfold, the compound was nothing more than a small fisherman's shack on the seawall of a beach frequented by western press. The famed New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, a witness to the attacks, said that the Israeli military is sophisticated and knows "what they're hitting" and that it would be pretty hard "to mistake grown men, and you know, Hamas militants, at that, for children no more than four feet high wearing beach clothes." It damages the international mechanisms designed to protect against breaches of human rights and humanitarian law when Israel is allowed to continuously violate basic norms of behavior for contemporary sovereign states with complete impunity. Enough is enough.