An army is a blunt weapon. Send it into a populated area where the enemy doesn't wear a uniform and innocents are going to die. This is happening right now in Gaza. Many people are quick to blame Israel for these deaths, calling them "unnecessary" or even "war crimes."
Lately, Israel has had to endure unguided missiles raining down on its territory. Since they are unguided, the people launching them, Hamas soldiers, aren't conducting surgical strikes. In fact, it appears they would be happy if they hit schools, hospitals, markets, and other heavily-populated targets.
So, imagine you are Israel. Do you have another way of attempting to put a stop to the daily barrage of missiles?
This is not an invitation to criticize the creation of Israel after WW2. It's not an invitation to criticize policies you think led up to Hamas.
I'm only asking what's the alternative to sending in its troops to attempt to drive Hamas out of Gaza?
From the Geneva Convention to murdering infants...that was an impressive jump.
Why would the U.S. ratifying or not ratifying anything have a bearing on Hamas using humans as shields for their armaments?
You completely missed the point, read again.
I am trying to get you to clarify your "point".
What constitutes war crimes is described in the Geneva convention. Not being a party the the convention doesn't suddenly imply that no war crime has happened, it merely means that the ICC can't investigate.
The OPs original statement was "In either case [of forced or voluntary use of human shields], IHL prohibits action against the civilians." That's not the case, as my reference to the relevant IHL clause clearly reflects.
Only the winner of a conflict gets to decide what the rules were at the time of the conflict. The winner doesn't commit "war crimes" only the loser does.
The guy with the gun makes his own rules. In this case the rules of combat are being decided on the ground daily.
The Geneva Convention protocols don't apply in the Israel/Gaza conflict since both parties haven't agreed to abide by them.
Hamas and their supporters are the bad players, the "Palestinians" have been the bit player Arab puppets since Israel was established.
The people of Gaza are just pawns in an international game of chess, poor unlucky bastards. There could be peace in the Middle East with Israel if the Arabs would just quit fucking with Israel, but they won't.
There's no need for both parties to sign the convention for the convention to be used as a benchmark for whether or not war crimes have been committed. And much like you don't go free from another country's laws just because you haven't signed that you will follow them, countries don't escape expectations just because they haven't signed and ratified treaties.
The guy with the gun only makes the rules until another guy with a bigger gun shows up and thoroughly ruins his day, though the lack of enforcement is one the main issue of international law.
The people of Gaza aren't wholly innocent, their plurality vote for Hamas in 2006 and continuing high support supplies them with a certain degree of culpability. As for the Palestinians being bit players I agree somewhat, though they certainly don't seem to have a major issue being used.
I don't quite understand what you are getting at there.
All the documents were ratified April 2nd of this year, which is well after Hamas came to power in Gaza. And I don't see the link between Hamas ruling Gaza and the accession to the Geneva convention. Additionally, it's the PA (or SoP) that represents the Palestinian government in international affairs.
I doubt if they'd even consider doing so, given that it's part of their raison d'etre to obliterate Israel.
International humanitarian law is quite clear on this subject.
Killing non-combatants that are being used as human shields in order to kill am enemy combatant or destroy an enemy installation shielded by said non combatants is a criminal violation of international law.
It is not debatable at all.
And pretty much unenforceable, too. Like I said elsewhere, rules for war is pretty much like rules for a bar fight: 1) no sucker punching, 2) no kicking in the nuts, 3) no bringing your friends into the fight to gang up on the guy. But what if obeying the rules loses the fight?
The #1 rule of war isn't to obey the Geneva Conventions, it's to win the war with the least cost to your side.
Actually, there are rules in a bar fight. It's called assault and battery; it's a crime. If attacked, you can defend yourself within reason, i. e. you can't beat someone to death because they shove you and spill your drink.