Prof. O’Connell on Gaza Conflict

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Mary Ellen Oconnell In an article titled, “The Pitfalls of International Law,” The Washington Independent reports on the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and examines the trouble with enforcing international law in that situation.

The article quotes Notre Dame Professor of Law Mary Ellen O’Connell:

“If a civilian shoots at you, you can shoot back. The real problem comes in where there are both fighters and civilians in the same place. The question then is, are the people shooting from the school so important that you need to counter-attack on the basis of military necessity? Then you have to look at how many civilians will die if you target it. If so many civilians will die that the need to eliminate it is outweighed by the harm you do to civilians, then you can’t go after that target.”

Although emphasizing that she doesn’t have all the facts, O’Connell laments that from what she can tell, in terms of following international law, “they’re all doing badly. Hamas has no right to launch rockets into Israel, and there’s a serious question about the magnitude of Israel’s response.”

For the complete article, and more quotes from Prof. O’Connell, visit: