I don't think it's particularly controversial to claim that Hamas is operating various military infrastructure from within heavily populated areas in Gaza. In particular, they're using a hospital as their "de-facto headquarters".

What does the Geneva Convention suggest should be done in this case by the other side?

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    Well, the wiki article you link to does eventually say the claim is controversial. It only cites WaPo in the lede, but then there are other (Western) sources saying pretty much the opposite, based on eye-witness accounts by Westerners. So YMMV on the "headquarters" claim. There were probably some Hamas guys around at various points. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 20:53
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    BTW, the WaPo article in question was written by former Jerusalem bureau chief, but he was writing that piece from London, so not exactly first-hand knowledge when he made the claim. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Article 19 of the Geneva Convention:

The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.

Accordingly, Israel should be allowed to just bomb those hospitals (or other seemingly civilian infrastructure) after warning to do so, and Hamas not complying to Israel's request to move their trouble out of there.


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    Of course, the paragraph was designed for a war between effective governments, where it's assumed the government is responsible for the civilian population. No sane person would apply the same rules to an extremist group who fortified themselves in a hospital they took over under the threat of violence. "Hey, get out of that hospital" "Eh, no." "We're going to kill all the hostages!" "Have fun" :D
    – Luaan
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 8:28
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    @Luaan, "Took over under threat of violence" isn't accurate for 2 reasons; 1. Hamas has been operating in those hospitals for many years, so people going there should know exactly where they're going into. 2. Hamas has been elected by the people of Gaza to govern Gaza, in legitimate elections - althogh this is a solid fact, some people never get it, interesting why.
    – Jacob3
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 9:28
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    @Luaan Hamas is the effective government of the Gaza strip, democratically elected by the people of the Gaza strip. From a Western perspective they should be responsible for the wellbeing of the civilian population. But that is not the ballot on which they were elected, to say the least.
    – user47745
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 10:45
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    Hamas's use of the hospital and other civilian infrastructure may rise to the level of "acts harmful to the enemy", but that needs to be demonstrated rather than assumed. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 18:50
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    @Luaan, So what situation is the Geneva Convention referring to? To a hospital full of healthy people?
    – Jacob3
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 9:02

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