Israel breaches two international conventions on 1 April

  • Post last modified:April 2, 2024
  • Reading time:9 mins read

Israel potentially breached two international legal conventions three times in total on Monday 1 April. In any other circumstance – like the US-led first assault on Iraq – these crimes would prompt Western governments to at least retaliate, and at worst invade the perpetrating country. Yet so far, leaders and some of the corporate media have whitewashed Israel’s war crimes amid its ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Israel: destroying hospitals

As whistleblower Edward Snowden pointed out on X:

Snowden was referencing two pieces of news. Firstly, Israel said it had finished its ‘operation’ at Gaza’s Al Ahifa hospital. Astonishingly, a former Israeli PM claimed on X that the IDF didn’t kill any civilians during its two-week long attack:

Of course, this is just another Israeli lie – along with the ideal Al Shifa was a Hamas operations centre. The IDF killed at least 300 civilians during its most recent bombardment of the hospital. Moreover, its claims of Hamas working out of Al Shifa are likely untrue – given the last time it said this it was a lie.

Snowden claims Israel’s attack on Al Shifa breaks the Geneva Convention – because hospitals are protected under this. Of course, Israel would claim otherwise – because the convention gives it a literal ‘get out of jail free’ card if Hamas were using it as a military base. Sky News in the UK lapped this up:

Of course, it isn’t ‘hard to imagine’ just why Israel would destroy Al Shifa – because decimating medical infrastructure is all part of a day’s work when you’re committing genocide.

Bombing consulates on foreign, sovereign soil

Second, Snowden said Israel had breached the Vienna Convention. This is in reference to its attack on Iran’s consular building in Syria. Israeli forces bombed the building in Damascus, killing 11 people including seven members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

As journalist Nathan J Robinson said on X:

Snowden pointed out this was a breach of the Vienna Convention – as did Russia, which said that:

We consider any attacks on diplomatic and consular facilities, the inviolability of which is guaranteed by the relevant Vienna Conventions, to be categorically unacceptable.

China issued a similar statement, saying:

The security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated, and Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected.

And as Pakistan pointed out:

It is a violation of international law and the UN Charter. Attacks against diplomats or diplomatic facilities are also illegal under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

But Israel hadn’t finished yet.

Israel: bombing and killing aid workers

Also on Monday 1 April, Israel bombed a vehicle carrying aid workers from charity carrying World Central Kitchen aid workers. It killed seven of them. World Food Kitchen said it was pausing operations after the “targeted Israeli strike” killed Australian, British, Palestinian, Polish, and US-Canadian staff.

Some Western governments were quick to respond. The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on X:

I condemn the attack and urge an investigation. Despite all the demands to protect civilians and humanitarian workers, we see new innocent casualties.

It took the UK government until 10:41am on 2 April to issue a statement. Israel, after refusing to comment, finally issued a statement at around 10:30am on 2 April. It said:

We will be opening a probe to examine this serious incident further. This will help us reduce the risk of such an event from occurring again… We will share our findings transparently.

Yet it took the corporate media hours to even report on Israel’s attack on World Central Kitchen workers:

For example, Israel attacked the convoy well before 10pm BST on Monday 1 April. A BBC reporter was one of the first to break the news:

Yet the BBC did not report it until at least 2am BST on 2 April – a minimum of five hours later. Its initial headline read:

Israel Gaza: Foreign aid workers killed in ‘air strike’

All this is despite this attack by Israel being breach number two of the Geneva Convention – specifically it potentially being another war crime. As writer Owen Jones broke down:

Meanwhile, the Israeli parliament is planning on banning Al Jazeera:

Do as we say, not as we do

In any other situation, destroying hospitals, bombing consulates in other countries, and killing aid workers would be huge red lines for Western powers.

Of course, back in 1990 the lies of one girl over Iraq – claiming it had attacked hospitals in Kuwait – was partly enough for the US to launch a war against it. So, it begs the question: when will the US and other Western countries send their forces into Israel to stop its genocide and war crimes?

That’s a rhetorical question, obviously.

Featured image via the Guardian – YouTube and Israeli PM – YouTube

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