Questions and Answers on Hostilities Between Israel and Hezbollah
There's often a lot of confusion about whether something is or is not permitted under the laws of war. During any war the terms "war crime" and "attrocity" are flung around with abandon by all concerned. Often the answer to whether a particular incident was or was not legal under the laws of war is "it depends." I received via email from Alertnet this article from Human Rights Watch it's an excellent briefing written in laymen's terms on the law governing how parties engaged in armed conflict must conduct themselves during hostilities. The briefing refers to the current hostilities in Lebanon but the principles it outlines and the explanations it gives relate to all armed conflicts. The briefing is in question and answer format and addresses the following questions:
The printer friendly version of the briefing can be found here, the screen version can be found here, I very strongly suggest that you print, read, and keep it for future reference. It's an excellent resource and HRW are to be thoroughly commended for producing it.