Current Concerns
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April 25, 2015
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Current Concerns  >  2006  >  No 7, 2006  >  «The Present Agreement Must under all Circumstances be Observed and Compliance Enforced» [printversion]

«The Present Agreement Must under all Circumstances be Observed and Compliance Enforced»

cc. With the help of enormous American pressure Israel succeeded in being accepted to the International Convention of the Geneva Convention with its own new signet (the rhombus). The Israeli Red Cross uses the Red David Star, which has, however, not been accepted as an official protection symbol. The new signet had to be introduced mainly because Israel accepted neither the Red Cross nor the Red Crescent. The formal admission took place in summer 2005 in Geneva. Does Israel comply with the present agreements? Judge by yourself:

The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War

Article 1

The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Article 2

In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a)    Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b)    Taking of hostages;
(c)    Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d)    The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Current Concerns therefore demands

  • that Israel formally apologizes to the ICRC;
  • that Israel makes accountable those who are responsible for the ICRC bombardment and initiates an appropriate investigation, as they would have to do in accordance with article 49 of the 1st Geneva Convention;
  • that Israel pays costs for medical care of the injured ICRC worker, and immediately compensates the damage done to the ICRC;
  • that the commanders in chief of the Israeli armed forces tell the ICRC when they have complied with the international law requirements according to Articles 45 and 47 of the 1st Geneva Convention and by sufficient and suitable instruction have guaranteed that the pilots of the Israeli Air Force know and do not bomb the Red Cross symbol and the sign of the Red Crescent;
  • that Israel and the American Red Cross pay their debts with the ICRC.