Israel's Rewriting of the Law of War

Friday, December 22, 2023
With the Israeli government recently stating that, according to its own calculations, over 65% of deaths from Israeli military operations in Gaza were civilians, time and investigations will tell whether any of that military conduct violated the Geneva Conventions. Another question, however, demands critical attention as well: Whether Israel is promoting an interpretation of international humanitarian law that undermines the Conventions’ values and subverts their rules. That might explain some of the outcomes we are seeing on the ground. Despite couching its explanations in humanitarian law’s language of proportionality and minimization of harm, Israel has asserted a theory of justifiable conduct in war that, contrary to this body of law, elevates claims of military necessity in achieving the war’s aims over protection of civilians, particularly in a just war. The theory harks back to the influential nineteenth-century intellectual and military theorist Francis Lieber, who advanced it around the very time the first Geneva Convention was being developed. It is important to look back at that long-rejected concept of legitimate warfare and to closely trace what Israeli officials have propounded in the current conflict.

WHO concerned over health impact of evolving fuel crisis in Gaza

Monday, January 21, 2019
The functionality of Gaza’s 14 public hospitals is increasingly jeopardized by electricity shortages. Several of the most severely impacted hospitals have already put rationalization measures in place and suspended sterilization, diagnostic imaging, cleaning, laundry and catering services during cut-off hours. Elective surgeries have been further reduced and drastic service reductions, including closures of wards and hospitals, are imminent.Hundreds of patients, including newborn and children, whose life depends on the availability of dialysis services, incubators and ventilators in intensive care units, and other electrical life-sustaining devices, and those requiring surgical interventions will be directly affected. 

Six Months Alone: How Israel’s Blockade Kept a Gaza Mother and Her Newborn Daughter Apart

Friday, February 24, 2017
According to coalition members MAP and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, more than a third of all patients applying to leave Gaza for treatment elsewhere in the oPt or abroad last year were denied or did not receive an answer in time for their appointment.

Report: Palestinians Injured in Gaza During Israeli Offensive Receive Deficient Health Care

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
A new report by Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHRI), a member of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, analyzes the deteriorated state of the health system in Gaza through the lens of Palestinians who were injured during the recent war and, as a result, underwent amputation.

Health Under Occupation: Constraints on access to healthcare in the Palestinian Territories

Friday, August 14, 2015
Gaza’s hospitals and homes are still in shambles a year after the latest offensive. Relief efforts must place emphasis on the enduring mechanisms of the Israeli Occupation and how they affect the healthcare chain of supply and demand. The glaring restriction on mobility that is the hallmark of the Occupation prevents medical students from traveling abroad to specialize and patients from accessing care.

For World Health Worker Week 2015, Coalition Advocates Speak on the Need to Protect Health Workers and #SafeguardHealth

Friday, April 10, 2015
During World Health Worker Week 2015 (April 5-11), the global community came together to recognize the heroic and life-saving services provided by health workers around the world, and collectively advocate for health workforce strengthening to be a core priority in both national and global health agendas. At the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, several of our members—spanning diverse continents, languages, and focus areas—reminded us this week that huge gaps remain in ensuring health workers are safe, especially during times of armed conflict and political unrest.