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Operation Cast Lead: Use of Force Discourse and Jus ad Bellum Controversies

Operation Cast Lead: Use of Force Discourse and Jus ad Bellum Controversies This article revisits the use of force discourse that was invoked by states, interna- tional organisations, and individuals in response to Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip in Operation Cast Lead. In particular, it examines the legal issues raised in a letter published by two dozen international lawyers in The Sunday Times (of London) on January 11, 2009, characterising the assault as an act of aggression. The author argues that the key issue in making this determination would seem to be the legal status of the Gaza Strip. This is because if Gaza is still considered occupied ter- ritory, then the situation is one of belligerent occupation and the question of aggres- sion would not normally arise. However, there have been examples of state practice where non-state entities entitled to self-determination have been subjected to acts of aggression in the past. In those cases, it was the gravity of the military offensive that was the determining factor. Seen in this light, and taking the United Nation’s 1974 Definition of Aggression as a guiding document, it could be argued that the Gaza Strip was subjected to an act of aggression in Operation Cast Lead. Keywords: Aggression, self-defence, armed attack, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Palestine Yearbook of International Law Online Brill

Operation Cast Lead: Use of Force Discourse and Jus ad Bellum Controversies

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2211-6141
DOI
10.1163/22116141-90000036
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article revisits the use of force discourse that was invoked by states, interna- tional organisations, and individuals in response to Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip in Operation Cast Lead. In particular, it examines the legal issues raised in a letter published by two dozen international lawyers in The Sunday Times (of London) on January 11, 2009, characterising the assault as an act of aggression. The author argues that the key issue in making this determination would seem to be the legal status of the Gaza Strip. This is because if Gaza is still considered occupied ter- ritory, then the situation is one of belligerent occupation and the question of aggres- sion would not normally arise. However, there have been examples of state practice where non-state entities entitled to self-determination have been subjected to acts of aggression in the past. In those cases, it was the gravity of the military offensive that was the determining factor. Seen in this light, and taking the United Nation’s 1974 Definition of Aggression as a guiding document, it could be argued that the Gaza Strip was subjected to an act of aggression in Operation Cast Lead. Keywords: Aggression, self-defence, armed attack,

Journal

The Palestine Yearbook of International Law OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2009

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