On most days I think that the use of international law to stake out a position that condemns Israeli military behavior is a good idea. Using legalese can be the only way for the Palestinian position to be "heard." On other days, I find myself skeptical. The porousness of the international doctrine on war especially the much touted principles of "necessity" and "proportionality" -- is such that the IDF lawyers are as good as any to pitch their positions using those terms in defense of the Israeli military behavior. What we often end up with is a legal argument made representing the "maximalist" Palestinian position  and a counter legal argument representing the "maximalist" Israeli position  both using "necessity" and proportionality. The former wants to assert "right to resistance"  and deny "right to self-defense"  and the latter wants to flip this position.
The difference between the positions reveals the “scandal” of the political argument behind the legal front: essentially both sides are having a political argument using legal terms. This "scandal" is then covered up by the "moderate" position that rushes to save the day for international law by splitting the difference between the maximalist two. Again, proportionality and necessity are such that they allow for that too. Israel is bad, so is Hamas. The difference-splitting position wants to stand on behalf of the civilians on both sides and wants to condemn military action, resistance or self-defense only half way. 
This difference splitting seems to have the best chance of giving integrity to the legalese and insisting, falsely, on its non-“politicalness.” Liberal Jews and other types of two-staters often adopt the moderate position.  This crowd is appalled by much of what the IDF does and is deeply sympathetic with Palestinians and their plight, but they insist on "splitting" because they retain an identification with the state of Israel and find it excruciatingly difficult to identify with Palestinian resistance for fear that it might implicate them in violence against Jews or because of a suspicion that Palestinians’ rage at Israel borders on the anti-Semitic. In general, they have an easier time identifying with the difficulty of the Israeli position “in the fog of war” than the Palestinian “fog of war” equivalent. 
Splitting the rights and wrongs using international legalese parallels the desire to "split the land" politically. Interestingly, this position has increasingly become that of the Palestinians themselves: the Palestinian Authority and its apparatchiks who loathe Hamas and don`t want to give the latter’s actions full legitimacy . They too like difference splitting especially in Hamas`s military conflicts with Israel. They are also two staters and land splitters.
The good thing about the difference splitting position is that in its totality it is better than the default ruling position in the formal US political establishment and its media cohorts. It is decidedly better for the Palestinians to invoke the law than the alternative of letting Israel have a monopoly and if there is something Palestinians gain by pitching their maximalist case in legal terms to counter the Israeli maximalist one is that moderate liberal Jews always reliably step in and split the difference and by doing so move the position on Israel/Palestine so many inches to the left.
That is good, I suppose, a gain not to scoff at. But the problem with this pre-choreographed legal dance of international law, of step one maximalist position on both sides, step two split the difference, is that it leaves us Palestinians confined in what I think has become a new "centrism" even though it`s it is a centrism that is to the left of what we have politically. It is the closest to what might be termed the “progressive” position on “the Israeli/Palestinian conflict” often obscured by mainstream media outlets. This new centrism is armored with law talk—with all its technicality and pretense to objectivity and neutrality- and-even though it liberates us from the limitations of our political prison and offers us a place that is a bit more airy and with some more light; it is imprisoning nevertheless. We are a few inches to the left thanks to international legalese but remain so many miles away from real justice.
 http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/protocol1.htm (last visited November 25, 2012).
 Falk/Kratochwil/Mendlovitz, 1985
 http://www.hrw.org/node/89575 (last visited November 25, 2012).
 See Human Rights Council, Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, A/HRC/12/48, Sept. 15, 2009, available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/12session/A-HRC-12-48.pdf, [hereinafter “Goldstone Report”].
 Richard Goldstone, Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes, The Washington Post (2011).
 See for example the PA endeavor to suppress Goldstone report through postponing UN vote on the report, Diskin to Abbas: Defer UN Vote on Goldstone or Face “Second Gaza”, Haaretz.com , http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/diskin-to-abbas-defer-un-vote-on-goldstone-or-face-second-gaza-1.261541 (last visited November 25, 2012). See also PA president M. Abbas speech at the Arab-American University accusing Hamas leaders of abandoning their people to be slaughtered by the Israeli army. http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/2255.htm (last visited November 25, 2012).