Practice Relating to Rule 103. Collective Punishments
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states that “collective punishment” of prisoners of war is absolutely forbidden.
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The disciplinary and punishment rules applicable in the army of the imprisoning country will also apply to the prisoners-of-war. Group punishments … are absolutely forbidden.”
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
In 2008, in a briefing to the Diplomatic Corps on Israel’s operations in Gaza, Israel’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
I think that Israel is the only state in the world in which its Minister of Defense has today, during a time of almost war, met with the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice, and Foreign Ministry experts on international law, in order to speak about and understand the terms of proportionality in accordance with how the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] works and will continue to work on the ground. So, basically, it is not something that can be judged. I hope that the international community knows that we are trying to avoid civilian casualties, and that what is called “collective punishment” goes against our values and our system.
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “Collective punishment is forbidden”.