Reading about the United Nations’ recently completed probe into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I thought I would contribute my two cents (UN probe finds evidence of war crimes in Gaza, 09/16/2009). First, accusations against Israel need to take into account the fighting conditions. The Palestinian armed groups don’t always wear military uniforms and it’s hard to distinguish civilians from armed militants until they fire at you. The article quoted reports that the Israeli armed forces failed to “distinguish between military targets and the civilian population.” The Palestinians weren’t exactly operating out of declared military bases — they fight a guerrilla war with consequences that inevitably include higher civilian death tolls.
Second, the chief prosecutor is quoted as saying, “It’s very important that justice should be done.” The execution of the war was justice for Israel. Israelis have dealt with ongoing rocket attacks fired wildly into Israeli territory. When the UN does not completely ignore these attacks, its committees respond by asking the Palestinians to please stop.
Lastly, instead of waiting for Israel’s patience with Palestinian militant’s attacks to completely expire, the UN should, perhaps, keep the attacks from happening in the first place. The UN force deployed in the region, besides being grossly under-strengthened, can do nothing to stop the Palestinian attacks unless the militants decide to invade Israel.
Perhaps the UN will try to deal justice. If so, I wouldn’t be surprised if they found it difficult to arrest, much less convict, any Palestinians.