Committing War Crimes with “Precision”

Source: Eunomia
by Daniel Larison

“Defenders of the latest Israeli bombing of Gaza like to emphasize the precision of the bombing, as if this were the only thing that mattered. Ze’ev Chafets’[s] op-ed is typical of this kind of argument: ‘This is a figure that demonstrates careful restraint, not carpet bombing.’ It is true that Israel uses precision-guided munitions, but that doesn’t absolve their military of war crimes when they ‘precisely’ bomb civilian areas and illegally target whole residential buildings for destruction. … a military that chooses to demolish entire residential buildings because it claims that some rooms inside have been used by Hamas is not one that is overly concerned with striking only military targets. The tactic of demolishing tower blocks is a war crime even when the building has been evacuated for the simple reason that the buildings are not lawful targets.” (06/01/21)