Israeli officials claim that Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip use civilians as “human shields”.
Needless to remind, this conduct, regardless of who carries it out, constitutes a war crime, according Article 8(2)(b)(xxiii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
However, a number of reports from Gaza denied Israeli claims. But let’s presume that Israeli claims are not false. Does that mean Israel can still go ahead and bomb, despite civilians presence? Absolutely not. Israel cannot bomb areas where civilians are known to be present. That’s prohibited and further constitutes a war crime.
Consequently, the response to Israeli claims lies in Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the ICC Rome Statute - in addition to other principles of international humanitarian law.