Formal complaint of war crimes (misuse of ambulance, use of human shields) in Gaza
Information and Evidence Unit
Office of the Prosecutor
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
The Netherlands firstname.lastname@example.org
Please regard both of these items as formal complaints of war crimes against Hamas, and also the United Nations if it willfully allowed Hamas to use its ambulance to shield and transport combatants and weapons.
COMPLAINT 1. Article 8 (War Crimes) of the Rome Statute, item 2(b)(vii)
This video (http://youtu.be/sRmYYSp0-B8) is evidence of a war crime in which armed combatants use a United Nations ambulance. The armed combatants can be seen very plainly getting into the emergency vehicle, with “UN” on its back. The Red Cross also is visible on the side of the vehicle and also (roughly at 35 seconds) what looks like the Red Crescent. If the UN knowingly and willfully allowed its ambulance to be used for this purpose, it also has committed a war crime.
Please regard this as an official complaint under Article 8 (War Crimes) of the Rome Statute, item 2(b)(vii), “Making improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions, resulting in death or serious personal injury;”
COMPLAINT 2. Article 8 (War Crimes) of the Rome Statute, item 2(b)(xxiii)
2(b)(xxiii) cites “Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” as a war crime subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction. http://nypost.com/2014/08/05/hamas-manual-details-civilian-death-plan-israel/
“The Israeli military said it has captured a Hamas manual on urban warfare — called “Introduction to the City War” — that extols the benefits of civilian deaths and openly admits that Israel tries to avoid them.” http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=8776547&ct=14144177 adds,
In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:
The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].
Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry. The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:
(1) Problems with opening fire (2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward (3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it
Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:
The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).
The Israeli Defense Forces (I have copied them on this E-mail) have the entire manual, which is in Arabic. It sounds like Hamas has just put into writing the fact that it has committed a war crime as defined by Article 8 of the Rome Statute, item 2(b)(xxiii)
William A. Levinson
[address, phone, and E-mail address given]