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From the field

20 Nov. 07: Israeli civilian killed by Palestinians in the West Bank

B'Tselem strongly condemns the attack by Palestinian militants near the village of al-Funduq in Qalailiya district, in which an Israeli civilian was killed. Attacks aimed at civilians undermine all rules of morality and law. Specifically, the intentional killing of civilians is considered a "grave breach" of international humanitarian law and a war crime. Whatever the circumstances, such acts are unjustifiable.

Palestinian organizations raise several arguments to justify attacks on Israeli civilians. The main argument is that "all means are legitimate in fighting for independence against a foreign occupation." This argument is completely baseless , and contradicts the fundamental principle of international humanitarian law . According to this principle, civilians are to be protected from the consequences of warfare , and any attack must discriminate between civilians and military targets . This principle is part of international customary law; as such, it applies to every state, organization, and person, even those who are not party to any relevant convention.

B'Tselem calls on the armed Palestinian groups to immediately cease all attacks directed at civilians.