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International Humanitarian Law, Armed Violence and Military Restraint: Israeli Ground Level Commanders in the Occupied Territories

Eyal Ben-Ari, Kinneret Center for Society, Security and Peace

Uzi Ben-Shalom, Ariel University

Nir Gazit, Ruppin Academic Center

The study examines how restraints on organized military violence are understood and acted on by Israel's battalion and brigade commanders in the occupied territories. Concretely, it investigates how International Humanitarian Law is seen by these commanders, interpreted in terms of their professional self-image and the principles of the military organization, transmitted to troops under their command and imposed (or not) so that their orders are carried out. Empirically, the project does not focus on relatively high-intensity operations but on ongoing, everyday activities. Methodologically the project is based on previous research and new interviews with commanders and reviews of newspaper articles from the country’s main news outlets.