Comparing Civilian Casualty Tolerance in the Israel-Hamas War to the War Against ISIS with Mark Lattimer

Israel’s military response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre has raised deep concern from international legal observers and the general public. The IDF’s tactics have been described as “disproportionate,” and not taking sufficient care to avoid killing civilians or damaging civilian infrastructure, as the law of armed conflict requires.

When it comes to incidental casualties in particular, Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, recently argued on Lawfare’s pages that Israel’s tolerance for civilian deaths seems to surpass even that of the U.S. and U.K.’s in the war against ISIS. Lawfare Associate Editor Hyemin Han talked to him about the case study he used to make this point—an analysis of Israel’s decision to carry out airstrikes in the Jabalia Refugee Camp in October. They compared that to what happened in the Battle of Mosul in 2014, and then got into the bigger differences between Israel’s war against Hamas and the war against ISIS. 

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