Proportionality:

Does the IDF apply disproportionate force in trying to maintain Israel's security?

Proportionality in war is widely misunderstood to mean a simple equation of Palestinian vs. Israeli casualty numbers.

We know from evidence that Hamas turns civilian targets into military targets by using them to shield themselves or their weapons.

So when Hamas places weapons in schools, hospitals and mosques, the IDF cites law of armed conflict that it has made each of those a legitimate military target.

That doesn’t give the IDF free reign to attack them but it does mean that under international law they are not doing anything illegal.

International law requires that each strike needs to be analysed individually for balance to check the potential impact on civilians and that Israel minimises the number of casualties.

Israel is doing so through: targeted precision strikes, warning civilians to leave, using military lawyers independent of the IDF to ensure laws are being followed.

Hamas is likely to over-inflate the actual numbers. But by simply comparing body counts, this also doesn’t take into account how many were Hamas terrorists or killed by so-called "friendly fire".

For context, according to UN statistics, the average civilian to combatant killed ratio in all conflicts is 9 civilians for every one combatant. Israel’s civilian to combatant ratio is generally much lower.

Learn More:

Addressing Proportionality in International Law on the BBC
Proportionate Response - X (Twitter)
Laura Kuenssberg - X (Twitter)
Interview with Grant Schapps about proportionality.
Lord Verdirame KC speech - X (Twitter)
Legal Analysis of Armed Conflict
Operation Swords of Iron
Politico
BICOM Podcast
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