Anticipating what could possibly be the worst under his watch, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has recently told his soldiers that he would protect them from prosecution.

Gaza City, January 19. © Erin Cunningham

Gaza City, January 19. © Erin Cunningham

Fearing the seemingly inevitable backlash following the worldwide shun of Israel’s attacks on Gaza City, Olmert said he would not accept the rule of law. “The commanders and soldiers that were sent on the task in Gaza should know that they are safe from any tribunal and that the State of Israel will assist them in this issue and protect them as they protected us with their bodies during the military operation in Gaza,” he said.

The three-weeks long attack cost Gaza over 1,300 lives and destroyed most of the city’s infrastructures, including schools and hospitals.  No agreement between Hamas and Israel has been reached yet as both parties struggle to compromise on their demands.  The United Nations has requested independant investigation relative to the hypothetical accusation of war crimes, after the use of phosphorous shells was revealed by The Guardian a couple of weeks ago. Israel confirmed that it used the chemical weapon, but in accordance with the law – as they supposedly did so only to create a smokescreen on the ground, protecting their soldiers from enemy fire. Human rights groups, however, claim that the phosphorus was used in crowded civilian areas and caused severe injuries among the inhabitants of Gaza.

Another slap in the face of international law. Israel is once again confirming its despise of the international community for the sake of its own need for protection. From the violation of the 1925 Geneva Convention to the bombing of the United Nations headquarters, it seems Israel has completely lost track of its human rights violations record. Olmert is probably being realistic when he fears the wrath of the International Criminal Court. The destruction of Gaza is becoming a serious source of international concern. Let’s hope american and european leaders will keep a close eye on the Cairo talks.

Rogue state:

“a state that does not respect other states in its international actions” (University of Princeton)

“A state or nation acting outside of the accepted national or international norms and policies” (Wiktionary)

“… furthermore, rogue states ( as opposed to nominal non-newsworthy dictatorships which pose no external threat) typically become consequential due to their engagement in the threat – or conduct of – war, particularly against neighbor states, without regard to international law.”

I guess it’s too bad W. Bush only thought of nations he already made enemies when coining that term. Ah, the irony.

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