Since this incident Israels' response has been disproportionate, to say the least, with over 370 Palestinians having been arrested since last Thursday. All over the West Bank, in villages, towns and cities, Palestinian homes and offices have been raided, people being held under siege, with many being injured, with subsequently being left for dead.
The Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 33, states that : "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited.Pillage is prohibited.Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited."
At the time of this posting, six Palestinians have been killed in the massive military operations that have been launched, and attempts to cast the rising number of unarmed Palestinian casualties as 'self defence' starts to ring hollow. As former Israeli soldiers have testified as recently as 2014, that their units used tactics known as 'Provocation and Reaction,' which has been described as "the act of entering a village, making a lot of noise, waiting for their stones to be thrown at you, and then you arrest them saying : There, they're throwing stones!!!"
At the moment the Israelis are using three missing boys as pawns in their political game, using them, as they continue to oppress and to avoid avenues of peace. it is not that we have not witnessed previously, time after time, that Israels' leaders need no excuse to find reasons to continue their collective campaign of terror against the Palestinians. Their road to peace, seems to be displacing people, 750,000 of them, and continuing to violate UN resolutions and human rights, to try to disrupt the recently formed unity government. Yet in the world Israel is feeling the heat too, as people see it as an apartheid state, and join the many successful boycotts and campaign for disinvestment on Israeli products. In the last week we have seen Presbyterians voting to divest holdings in 3 companies supplying Israel with equipment being used in the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
At the end of the day, this collective Punishment of the Palestinian people must stop. Israel I am sure is obligated to carry out its serach for the missing boys, but it should also be constantly be reminded of obligations to International humanitarian law and International Human law and the respect to life of the Palestinians, that minimises damage and injury and protects and preserves human rights.