Was the Gaza Campaign Legal?
ABA National Security Law Report, Vol. 31, pp. 1-6, February 2009
16 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2009 Last revised: 29 Jun 2010
Date Written: February 1, 2009
This exchange on Operation Cast Lead - Israel's December 2008-January 2009 campaign in the Gaza Strip - includes essays by Guiora and Luban, followed by Guiora's response to Luban's essay and Luban's response to Guiora's. Luban argues that the Gaza campaign violated both the jus ad bellum and jus in bello proportionality principles. He also argues that the Hamas civil administration were not lawful targets under Israel's own interpretation of the law of armed conflict. Guiora argues that terrorism changes the landscape of armed conflict and requires a reconfiguration of international law. Under this reconfiguration, an entire terrorist organization may properly be targeted.
Keywords: Israel, self-defense, international law, Hamas, Operation Cast Lead, proportionality, counterterrorism, nation state, terrorism, suicide bombing infrastructure, non-state actor
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