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News and Information on the Gaza Flotilla
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      New Publication on Universal Jurisdiction
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Media Perspectives

ts   Herb Keinon
Despite considerable pressure from both the US and Egypt to continue the settlement construction moratorium for another three months, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s senior ministers, a forum known as the septet, decided this week not to extend the freeze. (Jerusalem Post)
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Ready, Aim, Seek Legal Council   Ariella Ringel Hoffman
In ongoing aftermath of Goldstone report, IDF assigns brigade commanders in field media advisors, humanitarian aid officers. Four generals give their perspectives, discuss media war embroiling Israel. (Ynet News)
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Israel's Netanyahu offers regular talks with Abbas   CNN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas one-on-one every two weeks to discuss "the agenda for a peace agreement." (CNN)
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IDF General: 'No Justification for Gaza Aid Flotilla'   Anshel Pfeffer
IDF Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot tells Turkel Committee that Gazans have the goods needed to maintain basic lifestyle; says flotilla was intended to strengthen Hamas, not Gaza residents. (Ha'aretz)
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Dore Gold

The argument claiming that Israel has colonialist roots due to its connection with the British Mandate is ironic, as most Arab countries owe their establishment to conquest and control by the European powers. Prior to the First World War, countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan did not exist at all and were merely provinces of the Ottoman Empire. They became states only as a result of European intervention.
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Jonathan Dahoah Halevi

According to the Palestinian consensus, non-implementation of the right of return will leave open the gates of the conflict with Israel. This implies justification for the continued armed struggle against Israel even following the establishment of a Palestinian state. Furthermore, the Arab Peace Initiative does not envision the Palestinian refugees being resettled in a West Bank and Gaza Palestinian state.
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Herb Keinon

Despite considerable pressure from both the US and Egypt to continue the settlement construction moratorium for another three months, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s senior ministers, a forum known as the septet, decided this week not to extend the freeze.
View Article >>


Amnesia International: Forgetting the Real Culprits in Gaza
Justus Reid Weiner and Dimitri Teresh   19/01/2010

Amnesia International: Forgetting the Real Culprits in Gaza Amnesty International’s briefing paper is replete with references to international law, without once pointing to any specific provision being violated. Flogging the purportedly dire humanitarian situation distorts the overall picture of Gaza and forgets the actual cause for the clearly less-than-optimal circumstances in which Gazans live. More...

Ask the expert

  • Sovereign Status of Gaza

  • Question : If Gaza is not occupied, does that mean Gaza has separate sovereign status? If they have no connection, what is your opinion-does Gaza have separate sovereign status?Is having "separate sovereign status", synonomous with being "sovereign territory"?
    Answer : Territory must have separate sovereign status in order to be occupied. One cannot occupy one’s own sovereign territory.
  • "Occupation" of Gaza

  • Question : In your article titled "International Law and the Fighting in Gaza", you wrote that Gaza is not occupied because, Israel doesn't perform significant government functions and that Gaza was never Egyptian territory. However, whether Egypt's invasion was illegal or not, didn't Egypt still occupy Gaza, therefore making it Egyptian territory?
    Answer : You have matters precisely reversed. Egypt occupied Gaza, and therefore by definition, it was not Egyptian territory.
  • UN Security Council Resolution 446

  • Question : UN Security Council Resolution 446 states that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal. The problem with this Resolution, is that it bases this on Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Conventions, which only speaks about the forcible transfer of its population to occupied territories. It is therefore no wonder that this resolution was issued when Jimmy Carter was president. The only question I have on this is: International law is international law. Doesn't Israel have to abide by this resolution despite the probability that it is biased against Israel?
    Answer : Security Council resolutions do not create international law. They may, under certain circumstances create binding legal obligations, but Resolution 446 is not one of those cases.
  • Rhetoric Versus Action

  • Question : I just watched the beginning of your video presentation on the website on the fighting in Gaza: You said: In all the main media outlets it was reported that the war began on December 27, despite the fact that it was Hamas who announced a week previously that it was terminating the cease-fire. Hamas also declared its intention to subject thousands of additional Israelis to the threat of rockets. This sounds like rhetoric is equal to action. Is it enough that Hamas declared its intent to strike? It makes me think of the movie "Minority Report" where people were arrested before they committed crimes. How do you differentiate between rhetoric (Hamas talking trash) and incitement and intent to attack?
    Answer : Hamas didn't merely threaten. It launched more than a hundred rocket and mortar attacks on Israel in the week preceding December 27 as part of its plan to wage war against Israel.
  • The Legality of “Blockading” Gaza and Israel

  • Question : I am very interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the legalities and illegalities of both sides, so I would appreciate it tremendously if you can help me out on a few questions that I have. How can a blockade of Gaza be legal, if Egypt's blockade of the Straits of Tiran in the 1967 war is illegal? On that note, in the report [of Avi Bell & Justus Reid Weiner], you wrote that if Israel occupies Gaza, then the border separating Gaza and Israel is an international border, and no country must open up its international borders. But if this is so, then wasn't Egypt's blockade of the Straits of Tiran legal?
    Answer : Egypt had the right to control trade across its borders, but not through the international waters of the Straits of Tiran.
  • Partition Plan

  • Question : Many say (in response to the claim that the Arab refugees have a right of return), that Resolution 194 was a General Assembly Resolution and therefore is only a suggestion, and carries no weight. It therefore does not constitute a RIGHT of return. Although, Israel has other legal rights to exist, can the Partition Plan be one of those legal RIGHTS (since the Partition Plan was only a General Assembly Resolution)?
    Answer : The General Assembly resolution recommending the "Partition Plan" (General Assembly resolution 181) demonstrates that the General Assembly supported the establishment of a Jewish state in at least part of the remaining territory of the British mandate of Palestine which had previously been designated for the creation of a Jewish homeland by the League of Nations. This is an interesting fact, but if the General Assembly had never passed the resolution, it would not in any way affect the legality of Israeli statehood.
  • Legal Weaponry

  • Question : What right do Israel, Egypt or any country have to limit what weapons are brought into Gaza? I understand that the use of those weapons against Israeli civilians is an act of war. But what is the legal or moral basis for any third power stopping their import in the first place? Surely now that Gaza is “on its own,” its rulers are entitled to bring in whatever weapons they wish, as an exercise of sovereignty. Neighbors can complain about their use, but not against their possession as such.
    Answer : States not only have a right, but a duty to prevent arms from reaching terrorist groups like Hamas and the other Palestinian terror groups operating in Gaza.
  • Israeli and Gazan Borders

  • Question : I just read your excellent article explaining how by closing its own borders, Israel is not committing "collective punishment" on the Palestinians. My question to you, which may be one of semantics, is this: Critics of Israel say Israel is blockading Gaza's borders, as well as closing Gaza's waterways. Is Gaza's border and Israel's borders one and the same? In other words, is there one common border between Gaza and Israel, or, is Israel closing her own borders AND closing separate Gazan borders?
    Answer : Gaza has land borders with two countries: Israel and Egypt. Israel has partially closed its own borders with Gaza. It has no presence on Gaza’s border with Egypt. While Egypt has legal obligations to Israel and other states to prevent certain types of material and persons crossing into and out of Gaza, Egypt’s decision to completely seal the border with Gaza is its own and not attributable to Israel. For more on Egypt’s actions toward the Gaza border, see a blog entry on this web site from several weeks ago concerning subject.

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