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Protective Edge was justified, and was conducted with professionalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/27/2014 Category: News
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 770 times Debate No: 64048
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
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I will argue in this debate that Protective Edge (name of the latest Israeli military operation in Gaza Strip, and, to a lesser extent, in the West Bank) was justified, and was also conducted with professionalism and moderation .

First round for acceptance
Second round for the argumentation
Third round for rebuttal and counter-argumentation
Last round for conclusion


Good luck
Debate Round No. 1


At first, let's remind of some basics of international law : Israel is a legitimate State since 1948, and every legitimate State has the right to defend itself and its population . Israel is a democracy, guided by the principles of justice and morality. Hamas is considered by most of countries in the world as a terrorist organization, seeking only destruction and violence, and despises international norms.

Protective Edge was justified

The main reason for Protective Edge was not to avenge the murder of 3 Israeli teens, but to defend its population from rockets. Since the beginning of 2014, Hamas has fired more than 450 at innocent civilians. 40% of the Israeli population is at range of rocket fire. But moreover, long-range rockets (delivered by Iran, which doesn't care about the Palestinians at all, but is just interested in messing up the whole region), can reach strategic points, like the Ben Gourion Airport in Tel Aviv. It is the only airport in Israel, and if foreign air companies decide they won't travel to Israel anymore (which was almost the case for a few days), it can put the domestic economy in trouble .
Secondly Hamas has built numerous tunnels, which are a real threat, and is the reason for the ground operation which followed the surgical air strikes. Hamas uses its tunnel to import weapons, and can potentially carry out terrorist attacks in Israel mainland.

And was conducted with professionalism

Air strikes were very accurate. If Israel wanted to undiscriminately target Palestinians, it would have carpet bomb Gaza. The IDF did its best to forewarn the population, located close to the upcoming strikes(personally, in the whole history of war, I've never seen an army forewarning the population about when and where the bombs will fall, so that they can hide elsewhere). This precaution policy is even not in the interest of the IDF, because Hamas members could also flee from the area. Most of the population killed in Gaza is male (81.9%) and between 18 and 28 (50% ) , an age group one could envisage may also contain many Hamas members. The death toll is attributable to the fact that Hamas is hiding civilians, and uses them as human shield, by firing rockets from schools and hospitals and denying the possibility for the population to hide themselves and to flee from the war zone.



I shall take the liberty here to define some terms, then shall move on to my other preliminary comments before my attempts in negating the resolution.

Def. 1 Justified shall be defined as an exemplification of justice; i.e all justified actions deliver justice
Def. 2 Professionalism shall be defined, in this context, as abiding with the conduct of the Geneva Convention and other Human Rights convention

Then with these terms justified, it is now clear that the opposition must prove that the cause and effect of Operation Protective Edge (shall be called OPE from now) were both considered deliveries of "justice", and that Israeli's forces acted within the bounds of the Geneva Conventions. Henceforth, the opposition has a slightly higher BoP than I do. Moreover, this proposition is a conjunction, with two conjuncts ("justified" and "professional"), henceforth the negation of one of these conjuncts would mean the negation of the whole motion. Henceforth, even if the opposition proves that these attacks were carried out with professionalism, it may be said that if he fails to prove that it is justified, then the resolution remains negated.


1) International Relations

As the opposition affirms, OPE was launched in retaliation to the deaths of 3 Israeli teenagers. Retaliation was brutal and often scary. If justice were the killing of many innocent people, then justice was delivered in this attack; however, this was not so, as shall be proven in the following contentions. It must be noted here that Israeli forces were the first to react to these murders with an airstrike that killed 7 Hamas members on July 6th.

a) Sec Council Resolution 242

The United Nations, however, has taken all means (under it's powers) to neutralize the situation at hand here. UN Sec. Council Resolution 242 (passed 1967) demands (in operative clause 2, subclause I) every state to "respect and acknowledge the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State" which naturally includes Palestine. The same UN Sec. Council Resolution also demanded that Israel withdraw from the following territories currently occupied by the nation: Bethlehem, Jericho, Gaza and Rafah. This was the policy of land for peace.

Land for Peace was universally accepted by the Israeli authorities, and withdrawals were organized. However, on the basis of the Sec. Council Reso. 242, Israel must respect the rights to sovereignity of the Palestinian pepole. This resolution provides the only basis for peace in the area until the Accords.

b) Oslo Accords

The Accords concluded that:

Upon the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area, a transfer of authority from the Israeli military government

The existence of an autonomous area in Gaza and the West Bank demands Israel to do the following; (1) respect the rights of every Palestinian, (2) accept and respect the right to self-determination as was agreed in the first article of the UN charter, and (3) accept that Palestine is now a self-governing nation de facto, and will soon be de jure. The basis of democracy is the basis to elect whomever one wants; it must be agreed that since Hamas was elected in recent PA elections, it would be completely disgusting, if not unacceptable that Israel is willing to launch attacks on a member of the United Nations.

c) International Recognition of the Authority of the PA

However, how does one apply the notion of rights to whole governing nations? Sovereign nations have the rights to self-defense and sovereign nations have the full rights to sovereignity. It must be noted that 69.9% of the world's countries recognize the state of Palestine and the PA's power to rule. These countries include Russia, China, Sweden, and Brazil. The only countries against the recognition of the PA's power base is countries with strong ties with the United States, such as Australia and Britain. However, these countries still recognize that the PLO (and not Hamas) are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.

With two PM of the Sec. Council in recognition (and a clear majority of the world too) of the legitimacy of the PA to rights to self-defense, it would be completely absurd to allow Israeli troops to occupy Gaza and the West Bank without considerations upon sovereignity of a nation.

Con.) Justified means to "give everyone his due". This is the only exemplification of justice that can be discovered. A nation has the due of sovereignity, and unless the government (not the ruling party) has attacked another country, no country has any rights to agress on one sovereign nation and still claim to be have their cause justified by the mere institutions of justice. To "give on his due" is to respect agreements and their effects, even if they are contradictory and contrary to your interests. This is the basis of democracy and equality. Israel has not done this, as demonstrated.

2) Conduct

Conduct has been a huge issue for OPE. OPE has killed around 2,100++ Palestinian civilians, whilst Palestine has killed 3 Israeli civilians and one Thai worker. This case will prove that the retaliations are both (1) unjustified and (2) conducted with barbarism, not civility and professionalism as the opposition claims.

a) Hospital Airstrikes

Israel has launched airstrikes on 7 UN hospitals, and many more hospitals in the PA areas. Technically, it is a natural rule of ethical judgment to not attack those who cannot fight. Apparently, Israeli Defense Forces think that people with missing limbs and arms are terrorists and can resist the onslaught of the armed Israeli soldiers. How is this even conceivable? Nevertheless, via the Geneva Convention, Art. 18:

Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

Civilian hospital entails hospitals not supporting militants. The opposition may claim that Hamas has been using hospitals to launch rocket strikes onto the Israeli territory. However, Art. 19 of Geneva Convention states that: Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in allappropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded. Once this has been done, it shall then be conceived that airstrikes were authorized and justified, albeit they may be atrocious in nature. Israel has done the opposite of this; Israel has striked many hospitals without warning. al-Aqsa hospital, a hospital housing many wounded and many terrorized refugees, was indiscriminately shelled by an Israeli tank with no warning whatsoever. [1] Apart from this, it has also been confirmed that there was no military presence near many populated hospitals that Israel shelled.

b) Disproportionate Use of Force

Accordingly to Israel's conduct, any connection with Hamas is a legitimate reason for an attack. Israel has been known on many occasions to have used F-16s to attack homes of individual civilians. There are many incidents of this happening; VICE News records an airstrike that destroyed 5 homes in a Gazan street which killed two Palestinian citizens and wounded another. International Humanitarian Law does not allow this; even if the person may be affiliiated with terrorist groups like Hamas or the Islamic Jihad, targets that may be attacked are only those where military and strategic advantage of the place is currently exploited. Accordingly to a HR Council report to the United Nations, "knock on the roof" procedures are highly ineffectual, as Palestinian citizens did not have enough time to leave. In one instance, the knock-on-the-roof came only one minute before the airstrike came. They conducted the operations with professionalism in a sense of war and destruction.

Israel treats Palestinian houses which are populated with as much respect as they treat deserted houses; they will launch an airstrike on every house in Gaza if possible. The Geneva Convention quotes:

Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians

c) Israeli HR Violations and Intentions

Israeli is not targetting Hamas. They are targetting Palestine as a whole; their definitions of "terrorists" is anyone that supports Hamas, which justifies their attacks apparently. 12 days into the operation, the Israeli Government has targetted 2,000 targets, most of them hit, whilst the Iron Dome system rendered the 1,500 attacks on Israeli lands highly ineffectual. Albeit Hamas's attacks against Israeli citizens are deplorable, retaliation against Hamas in the form of indiscriminate attacks against the Palestine people are much more deplorable than this. Israel has killed 2,200 Palestinian citizens, only about 10% of them "militants".Apart from this, Israel has arrested 700 Palestinians from Gaza since OPE. Is this not equivalent to the abductions by Hamas? There are no justifications for both, but on balance, it can be said that since Israel is not the sovereign power over Gaza and the West Bank, they have no rights to arrest anyone. These actions must be condemened.

Con.) Israel has violated the rights of Palestinian citizens, has striked hospitals and has destroyed many Palestinian homes. Israel has violated the Geneva Convention on multiple occassions and is still doing so. Israel has arrested 700 Palestinians and detained many more, most of these from Gaza, where Israel has no sovereignity rights. The violation of the Geneva Convention represents unprofessional behaviour, whilst the other deplorable actions by Israel presents other argumentations for the unjustified nature of OPE.

Resolution is negated

Debate Round No. 2


1) International Relations :

It is true that Israel retaliated to the murder of 3 Israeli teenagers with an airstrike to eliminate Hamas members, but these airstrikes happen regularly . The main reason for the operation, as I said, was to stop the rocket attacks, and to put an end to the threat posed by underground tunnels. It is very important not to forget that Hamas is a terrorist group, and its only reason to exist is to kill as much Israelis as the could.

a) Sec Council Resolution 242

Well, as you said, Israel actually withdrew from Gaza and West Bank. If Israel must respect the sovereignty of Palestine, it has also the right to defend itself. If Miami was repeatedly bombed by rockets, even small ones, from Cuba, the US would retaliate, wouldn't they?
The Resolution 242 was adopted in 1967, mainly to avoid that Israel could try to annex the territory conquered during the 6 Days War. The situation has changed a lot since then. And it also says that Palestine must recognize Israel, what the Hamas, currently in power, refuses to do . Even Abbas is not clear about that, that's why his demand to be part of the UN was refused.

b) Oslo Accords

The existence of an autonomous area in Gaza and the West Banks demands Palestine to do the followings : (1) Renounce the use of terrorism and other acts of violence , (2) Abstain from incitement and hostile propaganda (3) Accept Israel as a legitimate State, (4) Demilitarization of the area . Hamas was elected legally, and Israel didn't invade Gaza after the election in order to put a 'pro-Israeli' leader . But the Hamas decided to break the rules, and to attack, make propaganda and militarize by any means.
By the way, Palestine is not a member of the United Nations

c) International Recognition

As you said, most democratic countries recognize the PLO (which has been, by the way, eliminated with blood and violence by the Hamas, without so much indignation from the Western pro-Palestinians.)
Well, by definition, in a case of war between 2 nations consists in sending troops to the other nation without its approbation

2) Conduct

Well, you can't judge who is right or wrong with death tolls. During WW2 the US killed by far much more civilians in Axis countries than American citizens killed by these countries, doesn't mean than liberating Europe from Nazi Germany was wrong.

a) Hospital Airstrikes :

Well, it would be more on the 'justified part' , but it proves the morality of those who hide behind wounded civilians, women and children to fight. And it is objectively very hard to know who is right or wrong about whether there were terrorists or not in the area, and each side publishes its own images to prove their case. But I don't figure out a pilot or a tank crew member thinking 'Ow, look, there's an hospital with unarmed civilians here, let's fire on it, just to see what it does, could be fun' .

b) Disproportionate Use of Force :

Yes, it is a fact that Israel destroys militant's houses after they have been spotted. I've never seen any army in any war preventing people so that they flee from the area . And they cannot way more than one minute, because if they wait too much, the terrorists could have also fleed, and more important, taken away with them any weaponry .
Concerning the Geneva Convention, it applies much differently when it is about terrorism.

c) Israel HR Violations and Intentions :

Well, Israel is not targeting Palestine as a whole, if they wanted to genocide Palestine, they have the military means to do it in less than an hour. I don't how you know that only 10% of them were terrorists . Israel considers as a terrorist everyone who has a link with a terrorist organization. That's quite logical and it's not much far from the US definition of terrorism.
The 700 Palestinians were not abducted, it was part of an inquiry during the previous operation 'Brother's Keeper" to determine the responsible for the murder of Israeli citizens, which, for they, were undiscriminated



1) Justifications

In this objection, I shall show that the opposition’s “justification” of the attacks upon the Palestinian people are unjustified, as the opposition’s points justify Israel’s attacks on Hamas.

a) Safety

The nature of justifications must assume two things: that since the input was positive and just, and then the output must be positive and just. The opposition’s justifications could be summarized into two categories: (1) economics, and (2) safety. Both are justifications to attack Hamas and not the Palestinian state itself. Let us analyze the opposition’s justification of OPE for a second here. The opposition affirms that since Hamas has been launching rocket attacks on Israel, then Israel has every right to launch F-16 attacks on Palestinian civilians. However, conceive two arguments for a second; (1) Hamas’s attacks on Israel are highly ineffectual, and (2) two wrongs do not make a right. Israel has since 2012 deployed many Iron Dome missile defense systems. The Iron Dome system has been effective. Out of the 2,000 rockets Hamas launched, only 70 of them failed to be intercepted by the Iron Dome system. Via nature of this, Israel’s carpet-bombing of Gaza literally has no justification. Moreover, two wrongs don’t make a right; if a man rapes a women, and then the women kills his brother, then clearly both the man and the women are at fault here. If Israel retaliates on Palestine for the actions of Hamas, then conceive for a second here; if this were just, then the whole Palestinian population must have killed an Israeli directly.

b) Economics

The opposition affirms that since Hamas could easily attack airports and other areas of economic importance, Palestine must be reduced to shreds. Does the opposition here indicate that the Israeli state values money more than society? Again, with the Iron Dome in place, the Israelis can relax. However, if the opposition claims that Israel attacks Palestine for the sake of destroying Hamas, and not the Palestinian people, then why shell, bomb and destroy houses of innocent civilians? Israel’s definitions of terrorist in Occupied Territories are literally “anyone who supports Hamas”. This is deplorable to a high extent, for that is wholly inclusive of the majority of the Palestinian populace.

2) Professionalism

This objection shall be short; analytically, conducted with professionalism means abiding the conducts of the Geneva Convention and the basic premises of the UDHR (and other Human Rights conventions). Henceforth, this is inclusive of all actions and not just some. The opposition claims to have never seen an army been so humane in it's intentions before. This is a huge lie; Israel has been shelling areas that it has declared safe. An example of this is al-Rimal, an area that Israel has declared safe. In the airstrikes in al-Rimal, 5 Palestinians (including a 5 years-old child) was killed. This is highly disgusting, and if professionalism is a scorched-earth virtue, then perhaps Israel has been acting with professionalism for this whole time. Apart from this, the invalidity of the 81% statistics could be expressed like this; the whites are more likely Nazis, henceforth we should kill as many whites as we could. This is faulty generalization and is an exemplification of victim blaming.

3) International Relations

a) UN Sec. Council. Reso. 242

Firstly, the opposition claims that Palestine has refused to acknowledge Israel's right to existence. Hamas alone does not believe that Israel has the rights to existence. The Palestinian Liberation Organization has stated it's intent in recognizing Israel's right to exist. This was in accordance with UN Sec. Council Resolution 242; this recognition of right however, requires a notion of "tooth-for-tooth" to be considered an exemplification of justice. Via Reso. 242, Israel must also return to the pre-1967 borders. Henceforth, we now revolve around the virtue of justice; if justice is 'to give everything one's due" then it is analytically mutually beneficial. The PLO's recognition of Israel is overtly polite, and since the status quo ante of 1967 has not been restored, it is highly unjust to the Palestinian people for the PLO to continue recognizing the state of Israel. The opposition affirms that since the state of Palestine does not recognize Israel, they should in turn be attacked and destroyed. Israel is recognized by the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

b) Oslo Accords

Firstly, the opposition confuses Hamas and Palestine; Hamas is an organization. Palestine is an autonomous state. Palestine is not responsible for the tunnels. Palestine is not responsible for the rocket attacks. Hamas is. Hamas is no longer the ruling party in Palestine; the PLO is. The PLO is not responsible for any attacks since the Second Intifida, and has in turn become more of a civilized party participating in clean and fair political elections. Again, all the conditions were fulfilled by the Palestinian Authority and PLO; they have renounced terrorism, they have abstained from incitement and hostile propaganda (to a point), they have accepted Israel's right to existence. The last condition however, is not in order. There are no article that demands the demilitarization of the armed forces of the PLO and Palestine.

The opposition once again provides justification for attacking Hamas, but not Palestine as a whole.

c) International Recognition

Let us look at the baseless claims of the opposition; the opposition claims that the PLO is eliminated. This is wholly false; the current president of the PNA is from the Fatah, part of the PLO. The opposition claims here that analytically a war consists of sending armies into one another's territory. However, Palestine's National Guards have never launched an attack on Israel. Accordingly to the opposition, the PLO is the main representative of the Palestinian territories. With this said, it cannot be said that there was legitimate reason to attack the Palestinian Authority. For legitimacy in aggression includes the official representation of the state, not an organization, to attack the "aggressed" country. Israel is henceforth the aggressor, for Israel has attacked a de facto state with weak justifications.

2) Conduct

The opposition here affirms the following things; that one cannot say who is right or wrong by the numbers of death. There is, however, a huge difference between whatever is "just" and whatever is "right/wrong". For a man could justifiably like fascism, whilst we all know that fascism is wrong. Justified is defined as an exemplification of justice. Henceforth, we could dismiss the ignoratio elenchi and moving-the-goalposts of the opposition. Another point must be given here; OPE was an all out assault on the Palestinian National Authority and Gaza, not an all-out assault on Hamas. This can be exemplified by the mere fact that around 10% of the people killed were "militants" in the conventional definition.

a) Hospital Attacks

The opposition here commits the fallacy of presumption and of subjectivity; it would be nice for men to objectively accept the fact that killing wounded people is considered unjust. However, it is a mere fact that an Israeli tank shelled al-Aqsa hospital. It is also a fact that Israel has attacked 7 UNRWA schools operating in Gaza during OPE. Nevertheless, all the opposition has done is affirm that the al-Aqsa hospital has been used by Hamas to shelter militants. Let us use this anecdote first; al-Aqsa hospital is a state run government, not run by Hamas. Hamas has not been in usage of the hospital, and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. The shelling of al-Aqsa killed 5 people, and wounded another 50. This goes against the Geneva Convention.

b) Disporportionate Use of Force

The opposition has also done nothing here but say that the Geneva Convention applies to terrorism, and has justified an airstrike on a neighbourhood of innocent civilians. This is simply disgusting. The Geneva Convention here states that citizens must be given a reasonable amount of time to leave indicated areas of impeding violence; how is it possible that one minute would have been enough for the people of such areas to leave? In one minute, it would be impossible for me to gather my important belongings and run as far as I could from the indicated areas of attack. This is why Israel has failed at preventing civilian casaulities.

c) Israel HR Violations and Intentions

Israel is targetting Palestine as a whole; if Israel were only targetting Hamas, then why does Israel not launch attacks on Hamas rocket positions? Why depend on high and heavy air support; why the dependence on the F-16 airstrikes when CAS and a coordinated ground operation would have done much better to stop Hamas? Again, another issue that I highlighted was Israel's hatred of democratic institutions of Hamas. Israel defines "affiliation" with whoever votes for Hamas. Israel defines "military targets" as inclusive of the homes of Hamas members. This, as proven by the Geneva Convention, is prohibited. Israel has justifications to wipe Palestine off the map, when the aim of all warfare is to neutralize the enemy.


The opposition's main justification justifies actions against Hamas, but not agains the Palestinian people. Israel's definition of a terrorist is anyone who supports Hamas, and this applies for many people in Palestine. This deplorable fact is further supported by the mere nature of Israel's random attacks; shelling hospitals and UNRWA schools are unjustifiable. The opposition's main premise is based upon retaliation against Hamas. However, Hamas is no longer in power. Professionalism here was also defined as accordance to all the basic premises of the UDHR and Geneva Convention. Any violation of these would automatically make a miitary campaign unjust and unprofessional. Whatever is right, is not whatever is just. Resolution remains negated.

Sources in Comments

Debate Round No. 3


FreedomHawk forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Jasemj 2 years ago
No, you cant justify killing 500 children for few terrorists.
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
Sec Council Reso 242:
Oslo Accords:
Sovereignty Recognition:
Hospital Airstrikes:
HR Violations: Joint written statement* submitted by the Union of Arab Jurists, the General Arab Women Federation, the Indian Movement "Tupaj Amaru", non-governmental organizations in special consultative status, the International Educational Development, Inc., the World Peace Council, non-governmental organizations on the roster,
Posted by TrustmeImlying 2 years ago
Really interested to see CON's argument. I've never been able to wrap my head around how people attempt to justify the actions of Hamas.

They are granted construction supplies and funds = they build dozens of tunnels to kill Israelis.

They are granted foreign aid = they build thousands of rockets to kill Israelis.

They are granted cease-fires to prevent civilian casualties = they shoot rockets to kill Israeli civilians.

Israel has been infinitely more patient then I would expect any country under constant fire to be, and I'd be impressed if someone could portray the information in Hamas' favor.
Posted by TheTrueScotsman 2 years ago
I wish you luck, freedom hawk
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
I'll accept this within 3 days if no one accepts it.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Technically I'm British but I have travelled to Israel many times--and have friends/family there.

Glad you do! Western media (in general) heavily misrepresents things so inevitably this leads to some people adopting a negative opinion of Israel. The fact that the U.S currently has the most anti-Israel government in its history doesn't exactly enhance matters.

I'll take a look, likewise feel free to do the same--though I can guess we may share some similar viewpoints.

Shalom Aleichem :)
Posted by FreedomHawk 2 years ago
You are Israeli ? :)

Well I agree with what you say, I'm not the one to convince, neither are the majority of the American people. If you are Israeli, keep faith in the support that our nation has for you. And I hope the Israeli people makes the difference between the cowardliness of the current American government and what Americans think

Furthermore, I saw you won all you debates, therefore you look like an interesting challenger. If you disagree with me on something (my opinions are detailed in my profile), feel free to challenge me to a debate about anything.

Shalom Rhaver :)
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Interesting one. Naturally I completely hold the same opinion.

It's generally not unusual for Hamas to send the occasional rocket but during the summer (western calender) an estimated 4500 were fired into Israeli territory at civilian targets, none of this was defensive as the barrage of rockets began in May--prior any Israeli response.

In addition, Hamas had also established its own underground tunnel network. As Hamas had already made three attempts at (armed) infilitration of Israeli towns--destroying the tunnels was absolutely necessary. The unfortunate fact is that these tunnels were built in civilian neighborhoods and under civilian homes--again this is directly attributed to Hamas and just another example of their tendency to exploit civilian population.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff