More than a week into their fourth war, Israel and the Hamas militant group already face allegations of possible war crimes in Gaza. Israel says Hamas is using Palestinian civilians as human shields, while critics say Israel is using disproportionate force. (May 18)
MARCO SASSOLI: What counts is the importance of the military advantage, which, in this case, for instance, when bombing [? Al-Aqsa ?] is to stop the rocket attacks on Israel, compared with the risk to the civilian population.
MARCO SASSOLI: When we are told, and Israel always says, Hamas used as human shields. And it may be that they use, sometimes, human shields. But you cannot say they used the whole population of Gaza as human shields, because these people, anyway, they couldn't go elsewhere. And Hamas couldn't put a rocket-launching bases somewhere in the midst of the desert, because to the best of my knowledge, there is no such place in the Gaza Strip.
MARCO SASSOLI: You cannot simply say by the mere fact that in such a densely populated place like the Gaza Strip, there aren't necessarily military objectives and civilians intermingled. This does neither prohibit Hamas to use force against Israel, nor Israel to use force against the military objectives, although inevitably many civilians will suffer from that.