Jacques Baud: An occupying power has no right to self-defense against the occupied!
An occupying power has no right to self-defense against the occupied https://wp.me/paI27O-55E
I translated the Interview with deepl.com…
Interview with Jacques Baud* (picture thk):
Israel’s actions violate the laws of war
Current affairs in focus: Could the Mossad not have foreseen the attack on October 7?
Jacques Baud: First of all, the Mossad is not responsible. We use the term “Mossad” to refer to the Israeli secret services. That is not correct. There are several intelligence services in Israel, and the Mossad is not at the forefront of the Gaza issue. The tasks of the Mossad are comparable to those of the CIA in the USA: covert operations and foreign intelligence. In terms of intelligence, Gaza falls within the remit of military intelligence. This primarily includes AMAN and the intelligence units under the command of the Southern Israel Military Command (DAROM) as well as those of the Gaza Division, a formation responsible for monitoring the situation in Gaza.
The electronic reconnaissance elements (SIGINT) of the Urim base, located 17 km from the Gaza border, are also part of this unit. It is one of the largest electronic intelligence stations in the world. It is operated by AMAN unit 8200. Among other things, it uses spy balloons to monitor Gaza. These balloons have nothing to do with the Chinese weather balloons, which the NZZ rather childishly confused with spy balloons.¹
With such a reconnaissance apparatus, it seems incredible that the Israelis could not have foreseen the October 7 operation.
Probably this operation must be seen in its context. Our media never report on the tensions that exist in Palestine. Since the beginning of the year, however, there have been many and intense tensions in Palestine. The UN’s World Food Program and Qatar have cut their funding for Gaza, which has led to social tensions.
In the West Bank, settlements have proliferated in a very violent way, and although they are illegal, the international community has done absolutely nothing about them. In Jerusalem, the planned construction of the Third Temple of Solomon is encouraging riots by ultra-Orthodox and ultra-right activists on the Mosque Esplanade. Egypt and the Israeli secret service knew that the situation was explosive.
All this is not enough to anticipate an operation like the Al-Aqsa flood. It can bring about emergency measures at management level, but it does not enable operational measures. In addition, it is possible that, with so many hotspots everywhere, the signals pointing to such an operation were “lost” in all the information that reached the services.
However, it cannot be ruled out that the warnings were deliberately ignored in order to create a crisis that would allow Netanyahu to regain control of the situation after months of popular protests against his judicial reforms. This is a possibility, but one that remains speculative at this stage.
Why did Israel fail to intercept Hamas rockets with the Iron Dome?
What happened in October was that the Palestinians fired more rockets than Israel could shoot down. In technical terms, they saturated the Israeli system. So there were interceptions, but most of the Palestinian rockets were able to pass through unhindered.
The Palestinian rockets have relatively modest explosive charges, and the figures show that their lethality is very low. In fact, they are more likely to be used to demonstrate the will to resist.
Can Israel wage a war of self-defense against a territory it occupies?
First of all, it must be remembered that Israel is officially an occupying power and its presence in the Palestinian territories is illegal according to UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967). Consequently, resistance to this occupation is legal. General Assembly Resolution 45/130 (1990) gives the Palestinians the right to resist “by all means at their disposal, including armed struggle”.²
It is precisely for this reason that Russia recognized the independence of the Donbas republics before its intervention in Ukraine on 21 February. This allowed these two republics to ask Russia for help to wage a defensive war under Article 51 of the Charter against the incipient Ukrainian offensive. I had described this mechanism in my books on the Ukraine conflict and in your newspaper.
If – ironically – Israel recognized the existence of a Palestinian state, it could wage a defensive war against it. However, Israel’s internationally recognized status is that of an occupying power, and as such its responsibility is to protect the Palestinian population, not to destroy it.
Is the timing of the attack a deliberate disruption of the cautious rapprochement between Israel and the Arab states?
No, I don’t think so. Rather, it is the consequence of a situation that Israel can no longer control on its own territory. There is talk of 10,000 dead civilians in Gaza, about half of them children. Is this a realistic figure?
The figures come from the Ministry of Health in Gaza. They are therefore no more or less reliable than the figures given by Israel. However, unlike Israel, which has not yet declassified all the names of its victims, the Palestinian victims have a name and an established identity. This suggests that the Palestinian figures are credible.
It is remarkable that Israel has killed more civilians in one month³ than the Russians and Ukrainians combined in more than 20 months (according to the latest UN count)⁴.
This shows the brutality of the Israeli response. Let me remind you that according to international humanitarian law, the use of weapons in combat must be subject to three principles:
– The differentiation between civilians and military (you have to be able to choose the military target, otherwise you don’t shoot);
– Proportionality (a proportionate response to the attack must be applied. For example, the elimination of a Hamas leader with an aerial bomb or a missile is not proportionate); a fortiori, the use of the nuclear bomb against the Gaza Strip proposed by an Israeli minister violates this principle.⁵
– The precautionary principle (if you run the risk of killing innocent people, don’t shoot).
Israel does not apply these principles. For example, the elimination of Salah Shahada on July 23, 2002 with a 1000 kg bomb dropped by an F-16 aircraft resulted in 14 deaths (including several children) and 150 injuries, while the elimination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on March 22, 2004 by a volley of Hellfire missiles resulted in the deaths of a dozen innocent civilians. No Western country protested against this disproportionate action, which they knew would result in significant collateral damage.
Note that there were no international protests. In July 2014, President François Hollande had even encouraged Benjamin Netanyahu to “take all measures to protect his population” when Operation Protective Edge began, in which more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed, including more than 500 children.⁶ We are governed by fanatical fools, because while the Israeli government has the right – and the duty – to protect its population, the methods and measures to do so are not unlimited and must comply with international humanitarian law or the laws of war.
For the ongoing operation in Gaza, as reported by the British newspaper The Telegraph, the Israelis have stated that they are not carrying out precision fire, but destructive fire.⁷ The situation is therefore clear: in a battle in a densely populated area, Israeli action is in breach of the laws of war.
The Israelis have always regarded the Palestinians as an inferior people. As the Israeli defense minister puts it, they are “human animals”!⁸
In 2014, by the way, the residents of Sderot went to watch the Israeli shelling of Gaza and they applauded the strikes.9 Those who rejoice in the misfortune of others deserve no consideration.
Is a two-state solution still wanted by Israel?
Israel has never wanted a two-state solution. For this reason, it does not abide by UN resolutions, in particular Resolution 181 of November 1947, which provided for the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state. You will note that Israel and its Western allies have done everything in the last 75 years to ensure that this resolution is not implemented. In fact, it was not even implemented on a single day. The day before the vote in the UN General Assembly, the CIA had handed over a secret report to US President Truman. It stated:
“In the long run, no Zionist in Palestine will be satisfied with the territorial arrangements of the Partition Plan. Even the most conservative Zionists will want to keep the entire Negev, the western part of the Galilee, the city of Jerusalem and eventually all of Palestine. The extremists will not only demand all of Palestine, but will also want Transjordan […]. In the chaos that will follow the implementation of partition, atrocities will certainly be committed by fanatical Arabs; these actions will receive wide publicity and will even be exaggerated by Jewish propaganda. The Arabs will be accused of being the aggressors regardless of the actual circumstances. “10
Twenty years later, in November 1967, General de Gaulle declared in a press conference:
“Israel attacked and conquered the objectives it wanted to achieve in a six-day battle. Now it is organizing the occupation in the conquered territories, which is not without oppression, repression and expulsion, and if there is resistance to it, it calls it terrorism. “11
We had a more objective perception of the situation in the 1960s than we do today. But we also note that there were far fewer anti-Semitic acts back then. This shows what I had already explained twenty years ago in my book on asymmetric warfare: anti-Semitism is triggered less by Israel’s actions than by the fact that it carries them out with impunity. If we want to curb anti-Semitism, we must treat Israel like any other country and not allow it the right to disregard international law.12
Where do you see a solution to the conflict?
I believe that there will be no military solution to this conflict, as the “global South” no longer accepts the dictates of Western countries. In addition, Israel’s impunity for its disregard for international law has catastrophic consequences and a solution must be found. Furthermore, I remind you that the Third Temple of Solomon project, which would mean the destruction of the third holy site of Islam on the Haram al-Sharif, could trigger a real war that would mobilize the entire Muslim world and where it is not certain that Israel would remain intact.
We must therefore turn to a political solution based on compliance with UN resolutions since 1967. This was proposed on November 11, 2023 by the Arab countries gathered in Riyadh. Mediation and solutions should no longer be in the hands of the Americans, but in those of the international community and the UN. But we must remain realistic. This is where the difficulties begin, because it would force Israel to reverse the withdrawal of settlements in the occupied territories and all its violations of international law …
At short notice, agents of the Israeli Mossad and Hamas are said to have met in Cairo to discuss the modalities of a ceasefire. It’s hard to confirm, but not very surprising, because in this conflict, contrary to what our media report, the intelligence services have been quite instrumental in discussing attempts at peace, which have then been rejected by the politicians …
My fear is that, given the heated atmosphere, the likelihood of Israel being destroyed is greater than the likelihood of it backing down in the occupied territories …
Mr. Baud, thank you very much for the interview.
Interview with Thomas Kaiser
12 Jacques Baud: La guerre asymétrique ou la défaite du vainqueur. Asymmetrical warfare or the defeat of the victor.
Editions du Rocher, Monaco 2003
*Jacques Baud holds a Master’s degree in econometrics and a postgraduate degree in international security from the Graduate Institute of International Relations in Geneva and was a colonel in the Swiss army. He worked for the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service and was an advisor on the security of refugee camps in eastern Zaire during the Rwandan war, worked for NATO in Ukraine and is the author of several books on intelligence, asymmetric warfare, terrorism and disinformation.
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