The Israeli military has the right to attack Palestinian hospitals and schools in self defense if Hamas has put rocket launchers next to them, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said last week at a local town hall, according to the Cape Cod Times.
Warren, in defending her vote to send funds to Israel in the middle of its war with Hamas, said she thinks civilian casualties are the “last thing Israel wants.”
“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” she said.
Israeli tanks shelled schools and hospitals during the most recent conflict in Gaza. The Israeli government claimed at the time that rockets and militants had been located nearby. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency condemned Hamas for hiding rockets in two schools, and also sharply criticized Israeli attacks on other schools.
The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War prohibits attacks on hospitals, “unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy.” Even under those circumstances, civilian hospitals can only be attacked “after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded.”
Warren argued that Israel’s use of force was justified by the violence in the region. “America has a very special relationship with Israel,” she said. “Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”
Read more at Huffington Post.