Whose ‘Conduct Unbecoming’?: The Shooting of a Handcuffed, Blindfolded Palestinian Demonstrator
The Striks School of Law, College of Management Academic Studies; The Emile Zola Chair for Human Rights
Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 7, Issue 1, pp. 155-175, 2009
The article focuses on the decision of the Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) to charge an officer who ordered the shooting of a handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian demonstrator, and the soldier who executed the order, for ‘conduct unbecoming’. It advances the following propositions: (i) from the perspective of the applicable international law, the facts of the case qualify the shooting as a war crime; (ii) said decision of the Israeli MAG is indicative of a policy of tolerance towards violence against non-violent civilian protest against the construction of the Separation Wall; (iii) the implication of such policy is twofold: first, it might transform ‘conduct unbecoming’ - which as a matter of law is a war crime - into a crime against humanity; second, it may well be construed as an invitation to the international community to intervene through the exercise of universal jurisdiction.
Date posted: April 28, 2009