"The Gaza Strip is controled by a murderous terror organization, which works tirelessly to harm Israel and its citizens, and breaks every possible rule of international justice in its violent actions against men, women and children," Justice Beinisch wrote.This sort of emotional rhetoric, characteristic of Beinisch (in her fights with Daniel Friedman), is demeaning of the High Court. Even allowing that Hamas is a terrorist organization, not a single human rights organization or international law body has claimed that it "breaks every possible rule of international justice," even when it has been criticized, as has been Israel, for targeting civilians. Beinisch doesn't mention Hamas offers' of cease-fires and hudnas, or its unilateral cease-firings when targeted assassinations continue, or for that matter, the siege of Gaza which began, unprovoked by any Kassam rockets, after democratic elections.
Beinisch wrote that in war, civilians were the first to suffer. However in the actions against Israel, civilians were the intended target.The High Court of Justice said Israel was not required to transfer unlimited supplies of goods and fuel, but only to fulfill its obligations by international law. They said that this is the case, because Israel has not had effective control of the Gaza Strip since the disengagement.First of all, in Israel's siege against Gaza, civilians are the intended target and understandably so. By targeting civilians, Israel wishes to advance its security goals of protecting its citizens. The thinking is that if life becomes miserable for the Gazans, they will rise up against Hamas. So Israel's targets civilians in order to further its political and security goals. That is no different from what Hamas does, as any non-partisan will agree. Beinisch ought to go back to reading her Just War theory, especially the theory of double effect. Her logic justifies the actions of the suicide bomber who expresses regret for the civilians he blows up, but who blames the actions of the enemy for what he is doing. His intention is not to spread terror, he says, but to liberate his people and to inflict a blow on the Occupier. The argument is a bad one, whether it is used by Hamas or by Israel, as the human rights organizations tell us. Israel possesses no less "effective" control over Gaza than it did before its troop redeployment. Hence it is still the occupying power and responsible for the well-being of the civilian population, under the fourth Geneva Convention. Why doesn't the High Court's ruling surprise me? As Hebrew U Law Professor David Kretzmer pointed out in his ground-breaking study, The Justice of Occupation, the High Court sees its role as defending the security of the State of Israel, even when that violates human rights and international human rights law. True, it reins in the goverment occasionally, but only when it thinks that it knows better than the government how to meet Israel's security needs.