The Dahiya doctrine, expanded in Israel’s siege of Gaza, sees non-combatants as acceptable targets.

by Arvind Dilawar, The Progressive

Wounded Palestinians were transferred to Al-Najjar Hospital after being targeted by Israeli warplanes, in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on October 13 2023

The Dahiya Doctrine is named after the Dahieh (also transliterated as Dahiya) suburb of Beirut, a political stronghold of Hezbollah, the Shia political party and militia in Lebanon. During Israel’s war with Lebanon in 2006, known civilian targets in Dahieh were deliberately and widely attacked by the Israeli military, virtually wiping out the entire neighborhood. And Israeli general Gadi Eisenkot told an Israeli newspaper two years later:

What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on . . . . We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases . . . . This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.

The “plan,” as Eisenkot put it, was to respond to any attack with intentionally disproportionate violence—not to necessarily defeat the attackers, but to punish the entire population through the deliberate killing of civilians and destruction of civil infrastructure.

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