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The following questions and answers address issues relating to international humanitarian law (the laws of war) governing the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza that took place from May…
The Jala Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Israel's air force targeted the 13-floor Jala Tower housing Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television and the Associated Press news agency.
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On January 31, 2020, the administration of President Donald Trump announced the reversal of US prohibitions on landmine production and use. The decision nullifies years of steps by the US to align its policy and practice with the 1997 treaty banning…
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It’s public knowledge that following the 9-11 attacks on the United States, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detained and tortured terrorism suspects in secret sites around the world. But new Human Rights Watch research provides…
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Beginning early on March 26, 2015, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition used warplanes to attack the forces of Ansar Allah, known as the Houthis, in several locations in Yemen. The coalition members include: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan,…
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This Q & A was first issued on August 4, 2014 and updated on October 3, 2014 to reflect new policy. On September 23, 2014, the United States government announced a new policy with a commitment not to use antipersonnel landmines outside of…
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On June 27, 2014, the United States government announced a new policy foreswearing future production or acquisition of antipersonnel landmines. It said the Defense Department will conduct a detailed study of alternatives to antipersonnel mines and the…
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Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies will soon make possible the development of fully autonomous weapons, which would revolutionize the way wars are fought. These weapons, unlike the current generation of armed drones, would be…
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Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President…
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Despite the regulations in Protocol III to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), incendiary weapons continue to cause needless and unacceptable suffering to civilians in conflicts around the world. These weapons produce conscience-shocking…
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Interoperability and the Prohibition on Assistance

Introduction The Convention on Cluster Munitions seeks to end the significant humanitarian harm cluster munitions pose to civilians. It prohibits the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions, as well as assistance with any of these…
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Questions and Answers

Omar Khadr, a Canadian national, was 15-years old when he was captured and seriously injured in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002. The US has accused Khadr of throwing the grenade that killed US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and injured…
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Questions and Answers

Introduction After the attacks of September 11, 2001, US officials approved various interrogation methods that were illegal under both US and international law. These included such brutal practices as painful "stress positions," prolonged exposure to…
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The Issue On his second day in office, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order committing to close the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 and authorizing a review by the attorney general of each detainee's status…
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Since the beginning of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza on January 3, 2009, there have been numerous media reports about the possible use by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) of white phosphorus (WP), a chemical substance used in military ordnance that has…