Report

U.N. Report Finds Israel and Hamas Committed War Crimes in 2014 War

The much-anticipated U.N. inquiry into the Summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas has concluded that war crimes were committed by both sides. Members of the investigating commission discussed the report yesterday at a press conference and will present their findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council next week. Members of the commission condemned Hamas’ ...

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The much-anticipated U.N. inquiry into the Summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas has concluded that war crimes were committed by both sides. Members of the investigating commission discussed the report yesterday at a press conference and will present their findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council next week. Members of the commission condemned Hamas’ “indiscriminate” rocket fire, its summary execution of prisoners, and its use of tunnels that terrorized civilians, but much of its criticism is directed at Israel, noting the “unprecedented” destruction in Gaza. The report found that 65% of the 2,252 Palestinian deaths were civilians, and that Israeli policies to prevent civilian casualties were ineffective.

A anonymous PLO official said the report reaffirms Palestinian efforts to pursue war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court. The Israeli government, which did not participate in the investigation, condemned the report for being “biased.” “The Palestinians have moved the battlefield to the United Nations,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said yesterday. “The U.N. has been taken hostage by terrorist organizations, and in this battle the international community will lose.” Israel issued its own report on the 2014 war earlier this month that found that Israeli forces had not violated Israeli or international laws in attacks that caused civilian deaths.

U.S. Airstrike Kills Benghazi Attack Suspect in Iraq

The U.S. Department of Defense said Monday that Ali Awni al-Harzi, an Islamic State operative believed to have been involved in the 2012 attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, has been killed by a U.S. airstrike in Mosul. Harzi, a Tunisian national, was reportedly involved in the Islamic State’s foreign recruitment and hostage and ransom efforts. “His death degrades ISIL’s ability to integrate North African jihadists into the Syrian and Iraqi fight and removes a jihadist with long ties to international terrorism,” a Defense Department spokesman said.

Headlines

  • After EU diplomats announced  plans yesterday to go after migrant smugglers with military force, Libya’s Torbruk-based government warned European countries that unauthorized ships in Libyan waters will be targeted by the country’s air force.

 

  • The Turkish government has issued red lines, which it has laid out to Western governments supporting Kurdish militias, that Ankara will not allow the creation of an autonomous Kurdish nation or large demographic shifts on its border with Syria.

 

  • Ibrahim Sharif, head of Bahrain’s Waed opposition group and a leader during the country’s 2011 protests, was released yesterday morning after four years in prison.

 

  • Al-Jazeera television host Ahmed Mansour was released by German authorities after being arrested in connection with an Egyptian extradition request.

 

  • Algerian soldiers in Azzeffoun, east of Algiers, reportedly killed two Islamist militia members during an ambush.

Arguments and Analysis

Libya’s Escalating Civil War” (Daniel P. Serwer, Council on Foreign Relations)

“An escalation of the fighting in Libya will likely result in further radicalization, risking partition and even complete state collapse, with consequences across North Africa and Europe. Were it not for the even greater chaos in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, where the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked forces are more prominent, the United States would be more concerned about the potential for Libya to provide safe haven to international terrorists. Also at risk is Libya’s remaining oil production of several hundred thousand barrels per day, as well as its gas supply to Europe, which will be important next winter if Russia cuts off supply to Ukraine, through which most of Europe’s Russian supplies of gas flows. UN efforts at a political settlement will be fruitless without strong backing from its members, including support for the peacekeeping forces required to protect a national unity government and restore law and order in major population centers.”

 

The CIA Can’t Keep Its Drone Propaganda Straight” (Jameel Jaffer and Brett Max Kaufman, Just Security)

“This week, one government intelligence agency, after patiently and methodically tracking a terrorist leader for months through precise electronic surveillance, successfully targeted him for death by drone. Also this week, a government intelligence agency eliminated a terrorist leader through a drone strike without even knowing the leader was present, basing its decision to use lethal force on sophisticated analysis of militants’ patterns of life. Bizarrely, this was the same agency, and this was the same terrorist leader.”

 

-J. Dana Stuster

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

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