Press "Enter" to skip to content

Who is a civilian in Gaza? The dangers of adopting a membership approach to "direct participation in hostilities"

Modern warfare has for a considerable time presented a challenge for the application of the classical laws of war, thereby contributing to their distortion. One of the foundational rules of international humanitarian law, which has been affected by this very symptom, is the principle of distinction. In other words, the question that is asked of attacks taking place as part of an armed conflict, be it international or non-international, is whether a particular object is civilian and whether it is a legitimate military target. The legal issue of “direct participation in hostilities” (DPIH) becomes a complex matter where one of…