By Tony Okafor, Awka
A civil rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has condemned the rising civilian casualties in Gaza in the war between Israel and Hamas.
It cautioned that the city of Gaza should not be reduced to a city of tents.
The group said this in a statement on Thursday circulated by its Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and other principal of officers of the group, viz: Chinwe Umeche (Head of Democracy and Good Governance) ; Chidinma Udegbuna(Head of Publicity); Ndidiamaka Bernard, (Head of Int’l Justice and Human Rights).
While stating that the group is in strong solidarity with the right of the State and People of Israel to defend themselves against any internal and external aggression, Intersociety said the rising civilian casualties and property destructions in the city of Gaza were unacceptable and condemnable.
The group’s statement read in part,”The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is in strong solidarity with Right of the State and People of Israel to defend themselves against any internal and external aggression particularly their collective right to self-defend themselves and their properties such as territories, homes and public institutions and facilities at all times.
“That is to say that the Oct 7, 2023 coordinated terrorist attacks by Hamas and other allied terror groups and their sovereign backers are totally and strongly condemned. The attacks which mowed down not less than 1,400 Israelis including 286 soldiers and other nationals including 31 Americans and terminally injured 3,400 defenseless Israelis and others are unspeakably reprehensible and nothing short of a replication of the cannibalistic and barbaric era of the ‘Saladin (Salah ad-Din ibn Ayyub: 1174D-March 4, 1193AD) of Egypt’ during which POWs and ‘enemy children’, captured from the Third Crusade were dismembered and fried like bean-cakes.
“The Hamas jihadist attacks also led to abduction of between 199 and 250 Israelis who are being held hostage. Saddening and shocking was the large scale magnitude perpetration of property destructions on the side of the State and innocent citizens of Israel.
“The rising civilian casualties and property destructions in the City of Gaza are totally unacceptable and strongly condemned. They are also nothing short of ‘reprisal radicalism and crudity’ perpetrated outside the confines of ‘military necessity’ and a clear breach of the “Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 (Laws of the War) and its 1977 Protocols (1 and 11) which the State of Israel must have ratified as a ‘49th Member-State of the United Nations on May 12, 1949’.
“The Four Geneva Conventions have clearly laid down procedures for Inter-State and Intra-State Armed Conflicts under the Doctrines of “the Jus In Bellum”, “the Jus Ad Bellum” and “the Jus Post Bellum” as well as the ‘Principles of Use of Force, Proportionality of Force and Legitimate Self Defense” are incorporated. The Geneva Conventions had also in 1977 received additional two “Protocols 1 and 11” for purpose of strengthening the protection of civilian and property victims of the International Armed Conflict (Inter-State) and Non-International Armed Conflict (Intra-State) and placement of limits on the way wars are fought.
“Among them are prohibition of attacks on civilian homes and religious centers and symbols and protection of civilian populations, journalists and humanitarian aid workers, etc in situations of Inter-State or Intra-State armed conflicts. Others are prohibition of acts of torture, starvation, etc.
“The leaders of the State of Israel including its war planners and policy makers must refrain from turning the City of Gaza into Rubble or Tents”. Since the Israeli Intelligence Services are one of the most sophisticated and respected in the world, time has come for them to locate and spot the exact locations where the Israeli hostages and the enclaves of the Jihadist Hamas and Hezbollah are located including whether the Israeli hostages are being held “within the sovereign or outside sovereign territories of Israel and those of its adversaries”.
“The exact location of such places using “Man-Mental-Machine Intelligence and Investigations” is extremely important so as to protect and save the innocent Palestinian population and their homes from further attacks and destructions.
“It is also extremely important for the leaders of Israel not to limit their searches to ‘Palestinian territories” alone as it is possible the hostages have been taken to the territories or hideouts of those bankrolling the Hamas and the Hezbollah.
“Where credible intelligence available to the leaders of Israel shows that the hostages are being held in tunnels or surface enclaves located in civilian populated areas controlled by Palestinians, their exact locations should be ascertained and effective safety measures for civilians and their homes put in place before any rescue operation.
“Same methods should be applied if secret locations of the Jihadist Hamas and their allies’ hideouts are traced to civilian populated areas including deployment of electronic and manual intelligence detection and tracking. In all, the 2,750 defenseless Palestinians killed so far and 9,700 others wounded as well as over 1m IDPs generated in Gaza and environs and property destructions inflicted involving Israeli reprisals or retaliations following October 7, 2023 Hamas attacks are strongly condemned and must be stopped and de-escalated.”