Challenges to humanitarian action in contemporary conflicts : Israel, the Middle East and beyond
Host item entries:
Israel law review, Vol. 47, issue 2, July 2014, p. 175-180
While international law has established clear legal obligations for the parties to armed conflict, the reality is that humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC are facing growing dilemmas in working towards the implementation of those rules and in deciding how best to orientate their work in connection with conflict, whether in Israel and the occupied territories, the broader Middle East or anywhere else in the world. The dilemmas to which this piece alludes, may be summarised as follows: how to determine a practical and acceptable balance between the legitimate security requirements of the parties to a conflict while effectively protecting the civilian population; how to remain committed to confidential dialogue on humanitarian concerns with the parties to a conflict while at the same time meeting the growing requirement for greater public engagement and transparency; whether to focus on the short-term humanitarian needs of populations affected by protracted conflicts or to invest in the resilience and self-sufficiency of these communities.