Is Gaza Occupied? Redefining the Status of Gaza under International Law

53 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2010

Date Written: 2010


Israel’s loss of "effective control" over Gaza is legally sufficient to indicate that the occupation of the territory has ended, but there has been reluctance on the part of the international community to accept the change in status. While it is not legally necessary to obtain international recognition of Israel’s position, it is politically important for the absence of occupation to be acknowledged by international legal experts so that Israel would not be held to the more stringent legal requirements of an occupier and to lend greater legitimacy to Israel’s acts of self-defense. Redefining Gaza’s status from an "occupied territory" to a "sui generis territory" in order to reflect the absence of "effective control" would be an affirmative step towards statehood for the Palestinian people and greater security for the people of Israel.

Keywords: Effective control, occupation, occupied, Gaza, sui generis, Geneva Convention, Hague Regulations, Hostages Case

Suggested Citation

Samson, Elizabeth, Is Gaza Occupied? Redefining the Status of Gaza under International Law (2010). American University International Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 915, 2010, Available at SSRN:
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