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
1. The Gaza armed conflict of 2008/2009 The Gaza armed conflict between the State of Israel and Hamas, began on 27 December 2008 at 11:30 AM with the launch of a military offensive by the Isra- el Defense Forces (“IDF”) against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip. The of- fensive – known as Operation “Cast Lead” – consisted, at first, of aerial, naval and ground artillery fire (from outside Gaza) and was expanded to include a ground offensive on 3 January 2009. Israel, which consistently maintained that the offensive was action taken in self-defense1, set three objectives for its operation in Gaza: (i) Stopping the in- cessant rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians from Gaza, (ii) dealing Hamas a forceful blow, and (iii) fundamentally changing the situation in Gaza2. During and following Operation “Cast Lead”, Israel was severely criticized by many in the international community for the force used by the IDF – espe- cially in light of the fact that the conflict took place in the heart of one of the most densely populated areas in the world3 – and the devastating results of the conflict. Such criticism eventually became very serious accusations of interna- tional law violations, which shall be discussed in further detail below. On 18 January 2009 at 2:00 AM, the Israeli offensive ceased, with the last IDF soldiers leaving Gaza on 21 January 2009. 1.1. The situation in the region prior to the Israeli offensive Israel has been engaged in an ongoing armed conflict with Hamas (and...
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