"Enemies take advantage of our commitment to international law"

Col. Liron Libman

IDF (Zahal) legal official speaks of legal challenges facing the IDF (Zahal) as it fights terrorism

Date: 19/09/2011, 3:53 PM     Author: Avihai Chiim

“The enemy takes advantage of Israel’s commitment to international laws of war,” said Col. Liron Libman, head of the Department of International Law of the IDF (Zahal) Military Advocate General, in a lecture at Bar Ilan University on Sunday (September 18).

Col. Libman addressed the legal necessity to classify terrorism as a criminal offense, saying “we define offenses, arrest terror activists and put them on trial. We must fight terrorism with the appropriate legal solutions.”

Col. Libman said that “the enemy understands that Israel operates in accordance with the UN’s laws of war and [the enemy] uses them as a weapon. The Supreme Court ruled that “human shields” are not entitled to protection, but it is impossible to know whether they are there out of their own will or there to protect their homes within which there is weaponry. When their goal is to militarily attack the IDF (Zahal) you have no choice but to consider the advantages of a military attack over jeopardizing human life.”

Addressing the power of the media, Col Libman said the “media is affected by images that trigger emotions in the civilian world; you can easily affect public opinion and create global pressure against Israel. Although the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations cannot defeat the IDF (Zahal) militarily, they can cause severe damage using the media.”

In the face of such challenges, Col. Libman stressed that “the IDF (Zahal) operates in many ways to defend its soldiers in the international arena.”