by Molly Wharton
November 12, 2014
Israel Defense Forces lieutenant colonel Dr. Eran Shamir-Borer spoke at Harvard Law School on Tuesday about the legal and operational challenges facing Israel as it confronts Hamas. “How do you face these challenges and still abide by the rule of law…even in the face of such challenges of an enemy operating from within the urban terrain?” he asked.
Israel is a law-abiding country subject to international law, explained Shamir-Borer, who serves as the Head of the Strategic Affairs Branch of the International Law Department of the Israel Defense Forces. But Israel is up against a “non-state actor that, by definition, defies these same laws.”
Shamir-Borer is a presenter for the non-profit organization Our Soldiers Speak, which organizes lectures by current reservists or active officers of the IDF. During the event, which was sponsored by the Alliance for Israel, he focused on the recent events this past summer of the Israel-Palestine conflict, while also looking at implications for the future.
The goal of Israel’s operation this summer, he explained, was twofold. First, it was to repel the threat of Hamas’s rocket attacks, of which there were about 400 in the month before, and 4,000 throughout the operation. Secondly, the IDF had to respond to the threat of Hamas’s network of tunnels, which Hamas would have used to carry out terror attacks within Israel as well as kidnap Israeli soldiers and possibly civilians…..