EJIL Analysis

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How does the classification of armed conflict impact the protection of freshwater in Gaza?

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched ‘‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’’ – an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza. Israel responded with ‘‘Operation Swords of Iron’’, aiming to remove hostile forces. Over the weeks, the Israel-Hamas conflict has escalated, leading to severe implications for access to freshwater in Gaza. Israel’s control over essential supplies, including those vital for water treatment, exacerbates the already dire freshwater situation in Gaza. Israeli’s Defense minister announces ‘‘complete siege’’ of Gaza, cutting off food, electricity, fuel, or water. Because of the lack of water supply, hospitals in Gaza face critical water shortages, resulting in deteriorating sanitary conditions and a heightened risk of infections. Even before the conflict, 90% of the population lacked direct access to clean water (A/HRC/48/43, para. 47), with 96% of Gaza’s water considered unsafe. The scarcity of clean water has far-reaching and devastating consequences and elevates the risk of waterborne diseases, exacerbates poor hygiene conditions in overcrowded makeshift shelters…

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Humanitarian access to Gaza

Israel’s siege of Gaza has been analyzed by Dannenbaum and Lauterbach in terms of the prohibition of the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. Though not their primary objective, each author finds that under international humanitarian law (IHL) rules on humanitarian access, Israel must allow humanitarian relief to reach civilians…

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Two Weeks in Review, 6 – 19 November 2023

Legal Dimensions of the Israel-Hamas Conflict Classification  Jérôme de Hemptinne offers his analysis of the classification of the Gaza conflict within the framework of international humanitarian law (IHL). The author systematically analyzes various scenarios to determine the most protective legal framework for vulnerable individuals and objects. The central argument posits that considering Palestine as a State and Gaza…

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Five, four, three… and counting down? – the outcome of the recent triennial elections at the International Court of Justice –

On November 9, 2023 the regular triennial election for the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’) took place in order to fill five vacancies. On that occasion, the United Nations General Assembly already at the first round, and…

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A plea for a right of Israel to self-defence in order to restrict its military operations in Gaza: when jus ad bellum comes to the aid of jus in bello

Numerous States, making statements before the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly during the last resumption of its tenth Emergency Special Session, have recognized the right of Israel to respond in self-defence to the Hamas’ October 7 attacks in accordance with international law. Those States include the United States (S/PV.9439, at 3), the United…

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