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Defence, International News

CDU EXPERT: IDF must take responsibility for civilian casualties, or death toll will climb

Charles Darwin University 2 mins read

9 APRIL, 2023

Who: Charles Darwin University Australian intelligence and defence expert Dr Victor Abramowicz.

Topics:

  • The progress of the Israel-Hamas war.
  • The missile strike on three World Central Kitchen (WCK) cars.

Contact details: Call +61 8 8946 6721 or email media@cdu.edu.au to arrange an interview.

Quotes attributable to Dr Victor Abramowicz:

"While Israel’s account is plausible, and errors certainly occur in wartime, it remains true that the IDF – as one of the most advanced militaries on the planet – has acted in Gaza in ways that have led to very high civilian casualties. Since the attack by Hamas on 7 October, around 200 aid workers have died and an estimated over 30,000 civilians. In contrast, across nearly 10 years of US air operations against ISIS in Syria from 2014, often in urban environments like Gaza, international observers have estimated only 2,500-3,000 civilian deaths caused by such strikes.

“Israel has clearly demonstrated a willingness to accept high levels of civilian casualties as it pursues Hamas. So, even if there are some specific operational changes that the IDF makes to stop a tragedy like the WCK strike, unless there is a broader clampdown on the acceptance of civilian deaths then there is unlikely to be a large reduction in the death toll. Whether this is likely to happen remains to be seen. Indeed, there has been recent reporting in the media that the IDF may be using AI technology to automatically identify Hamas militants, with varying degrees of accuracy, and then having these assessments cursorily vetted and approved by humans, after which it launches attacks with little concern for civilian deaths.

“In terms of whether we might learn more about what happened on 1 April, it’s hard to say. Various countries and groups, including Australia, have called for an independent investigation or increased transparency on what occurred, but there is no real way to force Israel to agree to this. Similarly, while there may be grounds for charges of criminal negligence against IDF commanders, it will be up to Israel to decide if it wants to push this matter – and it will have every reason not to, in order to protect its own people. For Australia, even the appointment of Air Chief Marshal (retd) Mark Binskin as a special adviser to Canberra on Israel’s investigation will only really provide more commentary on whether the IDF’s account is plausible as-is, unless Tel Aviv agrees to provide more information.”


Contact details:

Raphaella Saroukos she/her
Research Communications Officer
Marketing, Media & Communications
Larrakia Country
T: +61 8 8946 6721
E: media@cdu.edu.au
W: cdu.edu.au

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