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The Possibility of the ICJ and the ICC Taking Action in the Wake of Israel’s Operation «Cast Lead» in the Gaza Strip

A Jurisdiction and Admissibility Analysis

Series:

Oded Friedmann

Israel’s Operation «Cast Lead» in Gaza differed from prior armed confrontations between Israel and Hamas both in terms of its death toll and destruction. Following the Operation, numerous members of the international community and non-governmental organizations severely criticized the conduct of both sides during the conflict, calling upon the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and, mainly, the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate international law violations alleged against Hamas and, to a greater extent, Israel. This book provides an in-depth analysis of whether Israel or Israelis could face a legal reckoning before the ICJ and ICC, based on the serious allegations made against the conduct of the Israeli Defense Forces during the Gaza armed conflict. The analysis focuses solely on jurisdiction and admissibility issues, and does not weigh in on the veracity or legal accuracy of the allegations.

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS .......................................................................... XIII INTRODUCTION 1. The Gaza armed conflict of 2008/2009 ............................................................. 1 1.1. The situation in the region prior to the Israeli offensive ...................... 1 1.2. The twenty-two day armed conflict between Israel and Hamas ........... 4 1.2.1. Armed conflict in a densely populated area ...................................... 6 1.2.1.1. The controversial use of white phosphorus and flechettes ........... 7 1.2.1.2. The destruction of civilian property in the Gaza Strip ................. 8 1.2.1.3. The humanitarian situation during the conflict ............................. 8 1.2.2. The aftermath of the armed conflict ............................................... 11 2. Purpose of the research ................................................................................... 12 3. Summary of the research ................................................................................. 13 Chapter One THE POSSIBILITY OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATING THE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW DURING THE GAZA ARMED CONFLICT 1. The International Court of Justice ................................................................... 17 2. Possible ICJ contentious jurisdiction over the events of the Gaza armed conflict ............................................................................................................. 18 2.1. The Court’s personal jurisdiction (ratione personae) ........................ 19 2.1.1. Access to the Court ......................................................................... 19 2.1.2. The consent requirement… ............................................................. 20 2.2. The Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction (ratione materiae) ................ 23 2.3. Implementation in the case at hand ..................................................... 24 2.3.1. Conferment of jurisdiction by way of international agreement ...... 25 VIII 2.3.2. Conferment of jurisdiction by unilateral declaration (optional clause) ............................................................................................. 25 2.4. Conclusion........................................................................................... 26 3. Possible ICJ advisory jurisdiction over the events of the Gaza armed conflict ............................................................................................................. 27 3.1. Jurisdiction to give an advisory opinion ............................................. 27 3.1.1. Bodies authorized to request an ICJ advisory opinion ................... 27 3.1.2. Advisory opinion concerning a legal question ............................... 28 3.1.3. Competence to request an ICJ advisory opinion ............................ 31 3.2. International legal disputes and...

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