Between 8 July and 26 August 2014, Israel carried out a massive offensive against the occupied Gaza Strip, codenamed ‘Operation Protective Edge’. According to documentation jointly compiled by the Palestinian human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a total of 2,215 Palestinians, including 1,639 civilians, were killed during the offensive. Of these victims, 556 were children. In terms of civilian objects, the organisations documented damage to 32,028 Palestinian residential houses. A documented 43,503 Palestinian families, including 125,079 children, were affected by the destruction and damage to residential house.
Al-Haq’s publication ‘Divide and Conquer. A legal analysis of Israel’s 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip’ addresses select aspects of Israel’s conduct of hostilities and puts the offensive in the wider context of the occupation and an ongoing unlawful closure. In particular the publication discusses Israel’s attacks against hospitals, ambulances, journalists and media buildings. Furthermore, it challenges Israel’s policy and practices concerning legitimate targets, the Hannibal Directive, the notion of voluntary human shields, and knock-on-the roof warnings that lead to mass forcible displacement. The publication casts a dark shadow on the behavior of Israel’s self-proclaimed ‘moral’ army as it reveals that Israel did not comply with international humanitarian law. Rather, it is apparent that Israel intentionally misconstrued norms of international law during combat.