Inside Story

Is Israel meeting its obligations under the laws of war?

Questions raised about responsibility and accountability as Israel resumes bombardment of Gaza.

Israel has resumed its bombardment of Gaza after mediators failed to extend a seven-day ceasefire in the besieged territory. Air strikes have targeted houses and refugee camps in the north, in the centre and in the south of Gaza.

Palestinians there were already suffering a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations says 80 percent of the population has been displaced and the healthcare system has collapsed.

The Israeli army offensive raises questions of responsibility and accountability.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is acting in self-defence after attacks by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7 killed 1,200 people.

It began a bombing campaign of Gaza that same day and then launched a ground offensive, killing more than 15,000 Palestinians.

Under international law, Israel is the occupying power in Gaza and the West Bank and is obliged to protect all the people there.

But Israel doesn’t recognise Palestine as a state and argues Hamas has bases in hospitals and residential areas, making them legitimate military targets.

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Mustafa Barghouti – secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative

Ahmed Abofoul – legal researcher and advocacy officer at Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian human rights organisation

Triestino Mariniello – professor of law at Liverpool John Moores University and member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the International Criminal Court