War in the Middle East: Obama calls on Israel to respect international law

Former US President Barack Obama called on Israel to exercise caution in military operations following the terrorist attack by the Islamist organization Hamas on October 7th.

War in the Middle East: Obama calls on Israel to respect international law

Former US President Barack Obama called on Israel to exercise caution in military operations following the terrorist attack by the Islamist organization Hamas on October 7th.

"In particular, as President (Joe) Biden has repeatedly emphasized, it is important that Israel's military strategy respects international law, including laws aimed at preventing civilian death or suffering to the greatest extent possible," Obama wrote in a post published on barackobama.medium.com. Thousands of Palestinians have already died in the bombing of the Gaza Strip, many of them children. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Obama went on to write that after Hamas's "unspeakable brutality," Israel has the right to defend its citizens against such wanton violence. He fully supports US President Joe Biden, who has pledged support to Israel in "pursuing Hamas, dismantling its military capabilities and facilitating the safe return of hundreds of hostages to their families." As Biden recently noted, even in war the United States has sometimes fallen short of its high values.

“Could undermine stability in the region”

After the Hamas massacre, it is understandable that many Israelis are demanding their government do whatever it takes to root out Hamas and ensure that such attacks never happen again, Obama wrote. "Nevertheless, the world is closely watching events unfold in the region, and any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human cost could ultimately backfire."

"The Israeli government's decision to cut off food, water and electricity to a trapped civilian population not only threatens to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis; it could also harden Palestinian attitudes for generations and undermine global support for Israel, putting it into the hands of Israel's enemies and undermine long-term efforts for peace and stability in the region." Obama added that it is important that those who support Israel promote a strategy "that can disable Hamas while minimizing further civilian casualties."

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