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Unpublished Paper
Neither Facts nor Law Support Israel’s Self-defense Claim Regarding its 2014 Assault on Gaza
ExpressO (2015)
  • James M Leas
When the prosecutor of the International Court of Justice announced in January 2015 that she would open “a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine,” Israeli officials launched “a public diplomacy campaign” to discredit the court. Israeli officials rested their multi-pronged attack on the court on the claim that it acted in self-defense against Hamas rockets. However, neither facts nor law supports the Israeli claim that it was acting to protect its citizens. Contemporaneous reports from authoritative Israeli sources show that Israeli forces launched lethal attacks on the West Bank and Gaza before Hamas launched its first rockets to end its side of the cease-fire in place since November 2012. The International Court of Justice rejected Israel’s self-defense claim for the wall, a relatively passive structure, crossing occupied Palestinian territory. Contradicting the self-defense requirement that the response be contained within what is necessary and proportional to an armed attack, facts provided by an authoritative Israeli source show that Israel has consistently been wildly successful at stopping rocket fire using a non-violent technique while Israel has consistently dialed up rocket fire with each of its major assaults on Gaza. Evidence of widespread Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian property found by independent investigations, and admissions of such attacks by 60 Israeli combatants in the 2014 assault, further counter Israel showing necessity and proportionality. Admissions by Israeli leaders of purpose other than self-defense further undermine its self-defense claim and suggest self-defense was mere pretext. An alternative purpose for the attack is presented.
  • self-defense,
  • Israel,
  • Palestine,
  • Gaza,
  • West Bank,
  • Hamas,
  • International Criminal Court,
  • occupation,
  • Operation Protective Edge
Publication Date
July 8, 2015
Citation Information
James M Leas. "Neither Facts nor Law Support Israel’s Self-defense Claim Regarding its 2014 Assault on Gaza" ExpressO (2015)
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