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Calls for Ceasefire and Proportional Response


October 7th


War in Gaza


In a Nutshell


The demand for Israel to engage in proportional warfare against groups like Hamas is deemed unreasonable due to the complexity of the conflict and the tactics of these groups. Hamas often operates in civilian areas, complicating Israel's response and leading to civilian casualties.The principle of proportionality in warfare involves balancing military advantage against civilian harm, but this doesn't mean an equal number of casualties. Historical examples, like World War II, show significant civilian casualties in state conflicts, making the application of proportionality in asymmetric warfare challenging. Israel's military strategy focuses on deterrence and minimizing civilian casualties, yet faces criticism over the proportionality and legality of its actions.

Regarding the ceasefire, Israel resists international calls for a ceasefire with Hamas, citing concerns over Hamas's credibility and history of violating truces. Israel fears a ceasefire would leave Hamas in power, hindering long-term peace. Hamas's record of breaking ceasefires, including an attack on October 7th, exacerbates these concerns. Some argue that lasting peace requires neutralizing Hamas, while others, including the U.S., urge minimizing civilian casualties without directly demanding a ceasefire. Public opinion, especially in the U.S., is shifting towards supporting a ceasefire, but there's a prevailing concern that a ceasefire might only offer a temporary pause, not a lasting solution to the conflict.

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The Full Story

Calls for Proportional Response
The demand for Israel to engage in proportional warfare against organizations like Hamas is not reasonable due to the complex nature of the conflict and the tactics employed by such groups.
Firstly, organizations like Hamas do not adhere to international law and often use civilian areas for military operations, making it challenging for Israel to respond without causing civilian casualties. This situation is exacerbated in densely populated areas like Gaza, where even precise strikes can result in unintended civilian harm.
The principle of proportionality in warfare, as understood in international law, requires balancing the anticipated military advantage against potential civilian damage. However, this does not equate to a numerical balance of casualties or destruction.
Historical precedents, such as World War II, show that significant civilian casualties have occurred in conflicts involving state actors, further complicating the application of proportionality in asymmetric warfare.
Israel's military strategy, as outlined in its defense doctrine, emphasizes deterrence, defense, and decisive victory while adhering to international law, including efforts to minimize civilian casualties.
However, the nature of the conflict, the tactics of Hamas, and the operational environment pose significant challenges to achieving this ideal balance, often leading to criticism and debate over the proportionality and legality of Israel's military actions.
Calls for Ceasefire
The international calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war are met with resistance due to concerns about Hamas's credibility and history of violating truce agreements. Israel's reluctance to agree to a ceasefire stems from the concern that it would leave Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, in power, potentially undermining long-term peace efforts.

This apprehension is compounded by Hamas's track record of breaking previous ceasefire agreements, including a significant violation on October 7th, when they launched a coordinated attack against Israel, breaking an existing truce.

The dilemma for Israel and its allies is that a ceasefire might not address the root causes of the conflict or the long-term brutality exhibited by Hamas. Many argue that only by neutralizing Hamas can a space be created for a lasting political solution, requiring real concessions in both Gaza and the West Bank.

While some European allies and international bodies have pressed for a ceasefire, emphasizing the humanitarian crisis, the U.S. has urged Israel to minimize civilian casualties without directly demanding a ceasefire.

The situation is further complicated by public opinion, particularly in the U.S., where support for Israel has shown a decline, with a majority backing a ceasefire. However, the overarching concern remains that agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas could result in a temporary pause rather than a sustainable solution to the conflict.



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