Civilian vulnerability in asymmetric conflict : lessons from the second Lebanon and Gaza wars
Michael L. Gross
Civilians and modern war : armed conflict and the ideology of violence
London ; New York : Routledge, 2012
Bibliographie : p. 161-164
This chapter provides a critical study of two wars of military asymmetry in which the Israeli Defense Force fought engaged guerrilla fighters. In the Second Lebanon and Gaza Wars, guerrilla fighters were entwined in various sectors of civil society, seeking safe haven in civilian society, garnering support in the basic needs for survival, and drawing upon the social institutions - medical, legal, even financial. Some of this support is directly linked to military operations - providing arms, sanctuary, and even recruits for guerrilla forces. According to the author, when civilian participate directly in such support of guerrilla forces, civilians lose their right of immunity, based on international humanitarian law. The principle of noncombatant immunity does not protect civilians working for the institutions that sustain guerilla organization. Furthermore, in both wars guerrilla troops resorted to the draconian tactic of positioning noncombatants as human shields in the line of enemy fire. Under such conditions, the IDF cannot be required to withhold their fire against enemy forces; the author advocates the use of nonlethal weapons that disable, but not kill, the targeted individuals.