What are Israel’s Crimes?

28.11.2023

Israel has been committing horrific crimes and disregarding international law since 1947 and especially since October 7. The state of Israel violates even the general principles of international law. At first glance, it can be said that it violates at least three of these general principles, which can be listed as good faith, non-intervention, pacta sunt servanda, sovereignty and prohibition of the use of military force. As a matter of fact, Israel violates the principle of pacta sunt servanda by failing to fulfill its responsibilities to the UN Charter as a UN member state, the principle of sovereignty by annexing Palestinian territories, and the prohibition of the use of force by targeting children, women, the sick and the elderly in Palestinian territories.

While Israel’s crimes are recognized by the majority of states and the world community, there is a naming problem regarding the scope of the crimes. Officials of many states say that Israel is committing crimes against humanity and even genocide. The Republic of Türkiye has taken many diplomatic steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stop Israel’s aggression. President Erdogan has also announced that they have launched an effort to name Israel’s crimes so that they are widely recognized as genocide. When Israel’s crimes are so obvious, it is extremely wrong to think that it does not matter what they are called. Indeed, international crimes such as crimes against humanity and genocide have a different place in international law and their punishments are differentiated. Accordingly, it is important to examine the place of the relevant crimes in international law.

In international law, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide and crimes of aggression fall within the scope of international crimes. Among these, war crimes are listed as 40 separate acts in Article 8 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Treaty). Here, it would be meaningful to address the acts that are important for our subject. These are, in general, intentional killing; torture; injury; deportation; attack on civilian targets not for military purposes; intentional attack on officials, supplies, facilities, vehicles or troops allocated to peacekeeping or humanitarian assistance according to the UN Charter; bombing or other means of attacking settlements that are not military targets; settlement of the occupying state’s own population in occupied territories and expulsion of the population of the occupied state; deliberately attacking non-military religious, educational, artistic, scientific and charitable buildings, hospitals, places where the sick and wounded gather; the use of poison or poisonous weapons; the starvation of civilians and its use as a method of warfare; the denial of aid provided under the Geneva Conventions.

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