The International Bar Association (IBA) strongly condemns the heinous attacks on Israel by the militant group Hamas. These indiscriminate and targeted atrocities against Israeli citizens contravene unequivocal, non-derogable prohibitions under international law. The murder of civilians, assaults, and trespassing into private homes to kill and maim are all internationally recognised crimes of profound gravity. The abductions and taking of hostages, including women, children, and the elderly, are crimes in violation of human rights and humanitarian law.
In a recent report by The Telegraph, Hamas killed babies and children in a massacre discovered by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday in one of the last villages to be recaptured from the terrorist group. Dozens of dead civilians were found in the kibbutz of Kfar Azza on Tuesday, with soldiers at the scene comparing the murders to the Nazi pogroms of the Second World War.
According to the IBA, Israel has an inherent right to self-defense from these unlawful attacks. But in exercising that right, it, too, must ensure that civilian populations are shielded from harm and that military actions are conducted with a clear commitment to the international legal principles of distinction and proportionality.
The IBA, representing the global voice of the legal profession, urges all international institutions and governments to use their best diplomatic efforts to secure the release of hostages, prevent the escalation of violence in the region, and return to the peace tables so that a just solution is achieved between Israel and Palestine.
The IBA is a prominent global organisation that promotes international legal standards, defends the rule of law, and aims to establish the integrity and independence of the legal profession worldwide.