New Article: Balachandran & Sethi, Israel–Gaza Crisis: Understanding the War Crimes Debate

Balachandran, G. and  Aakriti Sethi. “Israel–Gaza Crisis: Understanding the War Crimes Debate.” Strategic Analysis 39.2 (2015): 176-83.
Excerpt
The future of the Israel–Gaza war crime trials is a complex puzzle. Even though the new crisis has come to an end with the help of Egypt, the long-term solution to this age-long crisis is still far from being fostered and accepted by the international order. The recent war crimes committed by both actors only make matters more complicated for the historically rooted conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Gaza conflict might be over but Israel is now gearing up for the legal procedures pertaining to the possible war crimes allegations. The army has been preparing itself for conducting internal investigations of its wartime actions and has prepared a detailed public relations campaign of satellite photos and video clips, hoping to persuade the world that its war against Hamas was justified. The argument of Israel will be weighed against the principle of proportionality, which is essentially a judgement call on whether the force applied was reasonable.
A lot depends on how the issue will be dealt with by the members of the UNSC, the decision of Palestine to take matters directly to the ICC and the eventual findings of the commission appointed by the UNHRC. Whether it is Israel or Palestine, the big question will always be: What will it take to solve the Israel–Palestine issue? The answer is not simple, with the shaping of the diplomatic environment being key in the possible permanent closure of this crisis. Even though many countries consider the war crimes trial as a probable thorn on the way to peace negotiations, denying justice to the people who suffered can in no way build a strong base for long-term peace and harmony between Israel and Palestine. But the historically deeply rooted religious and cultural mistrust between the people of both nations, amidst the volatile geopolitical setting of the world today, makes the task of international organisations and leaders to foster unanimously accepted closure of this crisis a herculean one.

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