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Israel at the Crossroads of Conflict and International Law


October 7th


War in Gaza


In the wake of the October 7 attack by Hamas, the question of proportionality in Israel's response under international law has become a focal point.  The attack, resulting in significant Israeli casualties and characterized by Hamas's use of rockets, drones, and ground warfare, has been condemned as a terrorist act.

The concept of proportionality in international humanitarian law (IHL) necessitates that the military advantage anticipated from an attack not be excessive in relation to the expected civilian harm.


However, the application of this principle in the context of asymmetric warfare, such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, is complex. Israel's military campaign aims to neutralize threats posed by Hamas while adhering to IHL.

The principle of proportionality, in this case, is nuanced, considering the scale of the threat and the need to respond effectively to a terror organization.

The conflict has raised critical questions about applying international law in situations where a state is combating a recognized terrorist organization, challenging traditional interpretations of proportionality in armed conflict.



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