Do these Islamist fighting groups ignore the international laws of armed conflict? They do not. It would be a grave mistake to conclude that they do. Instead, they study it carefully and they understand it well.
They know that a British or Israeli commander and his men are bound by international law and the rules of engagement that flow from it. They then do their utmost to exploit what they view as one of their enemy’s main weaknesses.
Their very modus operandi is built on the, correct, assumption that Western armies will normally abide by the rules.
It is not simply that these insurgents do not adhere to the laws of war. It is that they employ a deliberate policy of operating consistently outside international law. Their entire operational doctrine is founded on this basis.
Excellent article: RTWT.