Proportionality in War, Protecting Soldiers from Enemy Captivity, and Israel's Operation Cast Lead - 'The Soldiers are Everyone's Children’

55 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2013 Last revised: 2 Aug 2018

See all articles by Ziv Bohrer

Ziv Bohrer

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Mark J. Osiel

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: October 20, 2013

Abstract

Israel’s recent release of a large number of convicted terrorists in return for a single Israeli soldier has struck many as odd. The great value that the country’s leaders ascribe to protecting its soldiers from enemy captivity also finds reflections in military policies disclosed by its conduct during the 2008-09 operation Cast Lead in Gaza. In failing to understand the defensible rationale for such policies, critics have charged Israel with causing disproportionate civilian harm, in violation of international criminal and humanitarian law. This Article explains and justifies how Israel came to place such priority on safeguarding its soldiers. We then show that its priorities in this regard are both consistent with such law and more widely shared by other democratic states than generally acknowledged.

Keywords: Operation Cast Lead, Force Protection, Proportionality, Prisoner Exchange

Suggested Citation

Bohrer, Ziv and Osiel, Mark J., Proportionality in War, Protecting Soldiers from Enemy Captivity, and Israel's Operation Cast Lead - 'The Soldiers are Everyone's Children’ (October 20, 2013). 22 USC INTERDISCIPLINARY LAW JOURNAL 637 (2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342730

Ziv Bohrer (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Mark J. Osiel

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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