INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ISRAEL HAMAS RELATION

ABSTRACT

 International Law in general consists of very diverse areas of law consisting of the relation of various states with each other. How they function with each other, how diplomacy works and the role of different nations geopolitically. International Law consists of various subject matters like Subjects of International Law, Sources of International Law, Relationship between International Law and Municipal Law, State Responsibility, Law of Sea, State Jurisdiction Extradition and Asylum, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. All the mentioned subject matter in International Law governs the important perspective of the law in general and how different nations constitute a place in international politics and diplomacy. International Law is imperative as it creates the distinction between International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL), emphasizing their complementary nature in protecting human life, health, and dignity. It mentions the role of the United Nations (UN) in formulating and implementing international law, including various treaties and conventions aimed at addressing global issues such as human rights, racial discrimination, and the protection of children.

Coming to the Israel-Hamas conflict, highlighting an incident in October 2023 that escalated tensions. The formation of Hamas as a militant organization, it formed in response to Palestinian grievances, and it outlines the history of conflicts between Israel and Hamas, particularly from 2008 to 2021. The challenges faced by both sides include Israeli airstrikes, ground invasions, and the use of underground tunnels by Hamas.

Following the October 2023 incident, Israel declared a full-scale war against Hamas, leading to a blockade of essential supplies to the Gaza Strip and West Bank. International efforts, including negotiations by Qatar, aimed to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. The conflict resulted in significant casualties and displacement of civilians, with Palestinians bearing the brunt of the violence.

KEYWORD

International Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights, Israel, Hamas, War, Geneva Convention, Hague Convention.

INTRODUCTION

International Law in general can be understood as the laws which govern states i.e., the laws which govern the relationship among different states. International Law can be classified into Public International Law and Private International Law. As in the situation of Public International Law, it is more like the relation between different states whereas in Private International Law it is more like the relation between individuals of different states. As per English philosopher Jeremy Bentham International law is the body of legal rules, norms, and standards that apply between sovereign states and other entities that are legally recognized by international actors. In International Law as human rights come into the picture International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights step in. International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights are different but complementary to each other. Both of them relate to the protection of life, health and dignity of human life. International human rights are concerned with war and peace whereas International Humanitarian Law relates to armed rebellion and war. The difference and distinctiveness arose between them as International Humanitarian Law cannot be suspended whereas International Human Rights can be suspended as per the requirement of the state. States must follow and enforce both International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Laws. Following IHL means a state needs to create its laws to meet its obligations, train its military accordingly, and prosecute those who seriously break these laws. Human Rights Laws also require a state to make laws and take other actions to enforce its rules and punish anyone who violates them. International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law are concerned with Jus ad bellum and Jus in Bello comes into the light along with which as an aftermath of war and related activities Refugee laws come into picture. Jus ad bellum can be understood as the condition in which the participating states resort to the war whereas in Jus in Bello conduct of the parties in the war. International Humanitarian Law applies to all parties involved in a conflict, no matter why they’re fighting or if their reasons are considered just. If it were any different, it would be impossible to enforce the law because every party could claim to be a victim of aggression. Additionally, IHL is meant to protect anyone affected by armed conflicts, no matter which side they’re on. That’s why the rules of how to conduct during war (Jus in Bello) must stay separate from the reasons for going to war (jus ad bellum). The origin of Hamas and Israel’s relationship steps in the disputed territory of the region comes into the picture, where present-day Israel exists. In 1948 UN through resolution 181 UN released the map of the disputed territory divided between the parties namely Israel and Palestine. Through this resolution, 45% of the disputed territory was allotted to Palestine and 55% of the disputed territory was allotted to Israel. Israel accepted the distribution but the Arab state’s resilience led to war between Arab nations and Israel. Even with such a scenario Israel somehow manages to stand and make its name geopolitically.

INTERNATIONAL LAW AND INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

The formulation of International Law in the modern-day era started with the formation of the UN itself in 1945 after the end of World War II. The formation of the UN stands as the biggest step and greatest achievement in the development of International Law. The Charter of the United Nations says that the UN should assist in resolving conflicts between countries peacefully, using methods like arbitration and legal settlements. It also says the UN should support the ongoing development of international laws and their organization. Over time, more than 560 agreements involving multiple countries have been given to the UN Secretary-General. Many other agreements are held by governments or other groups. These agreements deal with various topics like human rights, reducing weapons, and safeguarding the environment. United Nations through its general assembly have accepted a lot of treaties and conventions, for example- the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on Rights of the Child, Comprehensive Nuclear- Test- Ban Treaty, Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights etc., 

The UN has been innovative in its legal efforts, dealing with problems that affect countries worldwide. It’s been actively involved in establishing rules to protect the environment, manage the movement of workers across borders, control the illegal trade of drugs, and fight against terrorism. This work is ongoing, with international laws becoming increasingly important in various areas, like protecting human rights and regulating how conflicts are handled to minimize harm to civilians. International Humanitarian Law can be understood as part of International law concerning with human rights and the conditions during war and rebellion. In building the nexus between International Humanitarian Law and the war situation between Israel and Palestine, it is important to note the loss of life and property on both sides to such rebellion comes under the purview of International Humanitarian Law.

ISRAEL HAMAS RELATION

Israelis were taken hostage on October 2023, which further increased the rebellion between Israel and Hamas. Hamas can be comprehended as a militant organization formed as a result of the first Palestine intifada in late 1987. It was formed based on Islamic brotherhood. The conflicts between Israel and Hamas, particularly focusing on events from 2008 to 2021. These conflicts involved Israeli airstrikes, ground invasions, and ongoing hostilities. The Gaza Strip’s high population Israel and Hamas situation arose from the incident that occurred on the 7th of October in 2023. The abovementioned attack led to the death of over 1200 Israelis and more than 240 density and the presence of underground tunnels added complexity to the situation. Hamas and others used these tunnels to bypass blockades, carry out operations, and hide from Israeli forces. Detecting and destroying these tunnels, especially when built beneath urban areas, posed significant challenges. After the incident occurred on the 7th of October Israeli PM declared a full-fledged war against Hamas which has occupied the region of the Gaza Strip. From the 9th of October Israel has completely cut off the electricity, fuel and food supply of the territory to completely isolate the territory from the basic commodities. 

When Israel was bombing, people from other countries tried to help get the hostages back. Qatar, who had helped Gaza with aid before, tried to help negotiate. But in the beginning of the fighting, they only managed to get four hostages released from Hamas. Gaza has a lot of hidden tunnels underground that go on for miles. This made it hard to find the hostages and to stop the people with guns and weapons. Breaking the tunnels without hurting regular people was tough, and going inside them for military reasons was super risky, especially for the soldiers and any hostages. Just three weeks after the fighting started, more than 1.4 million people in Gaza had to leave their homes because it wasn’t safe. Many Palestinians were killed, making it the deadliest fighting for them since the big war between Arabs and Israelis in 1948.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

It is neither easy nor easy to understand the research methodology employed in the case of understanding Human Rights and laws related to it and how it influences the people of the conflict in the region. It is essential to look at the history of the region where present-day Israel and Palestine exist. After the holocaust of Jews in the Second World War they moved to the region i.e., the disputed territory. The treaty between the British and modern-day Israel was signed known as the Balfour Declaration. Palestinians consider their territory to be occupied by Israelis. The shrink of Palestine, the Arabic war and to uprising of the Palestine Islamic Jihad. The formation of Hamas is among the aftermath of the conflict and the end of the Arabic war to free Palestine.

SUPPORTING ISSUES-

How people in the war-affected zone are ruined? How are their homes and basic things taken from them? Rights of the Refugee, Rights of children and women? 

The research methodology for the thesis consists of relying on various news articles as the incident has a history of its own. The conflict has affected the two countries in various aspects whether geopolitically, financially, socially and fundamentally. The recent attack of Iran on Israel led to fuel to fire. The main research methodology employed is reading various news articles about war and understanding the situation of human rights in the territory.

The effect the war has carried on the two nations and other nations in general. How different nations of the world are separated into two different groups based on ideological differences.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The author stumbled upon a bunch of papers, books, and thesis while working on this thesis. It became clear pretty quickly that this thesis was looking at the relationship between International Law and politics in a different way than usual. This made the author wonder if there were enough resources available to study this topic properly. Interestingly, most of the information and data used in this thesis came from the Internet, which is something the thesis explores in detail. And a lot of the extra info needed to answer some smaller questions also came from the World Wide Web.

The author broke down the stages of the literature review into different stages such as firstly whether the relationship between Arab states and Israel led to the following conflict. Whether the present scenario in the territory has vanished the treaties, and human rights in the region? What is the role which other nations and the UN have in war and ceasefire? What is the role of world media in general in this conflict?

The author after relying on all the sources finds out the entangled relationship between Arabs and Israel, which starts with the intervention of Britishers in the first place. Through McMahon Hussein correspondence (British- Arabs), Balfour declaration (Britain – Jews). The genocide and killing of innocent civilians on both sides put the light on how severely human rights and International Humanitarian Law are affected. The Resolution 181 of the UN and the use of veto power for not opting for a ceasefire in the territory for a long period. The media outlets put light on the present situation whether in favour or against but having an opinion to counter such war crimes in the region.

METHOD

The research method which the author has employed in the process of building the relationship between the state and its component comprises studying various news portals along with books like Handbook of Legal Instruments on International Human Rights and Refugee by Manoj Kumar Sinha. After studying and reading various articles by the UN, and the International Committee of Red Cross Committee the author thinks that the scenario of conflict has deep roots from the inception of ethnic cleansing of the Jews to the formation of modern-day Israel.

Conventions like the Geneva Convention i.e., The Geneva Conventions are a set of rules that countries agree to follow during wars to make sure that people are treated with fairness and decency, especially those who aren’t fighting, like civilians and prisoners of war. They cover things like how wounded soldiers should be treated, how prisoners should be cared for, and how civilians should be protected. These rules were first established in 1864 and have been updated over time to reflect changing circumstances. They’re important because they aim to minimize suffering during conflicts and ensure that even in war, basic human rights are respected. Hague Convention i.e., The Hague Conventions are a set of rules agreed upon by countries to make war a bit less awful. They cover things like what weapons can and can’t be used, how civilians and their stuff should be treated during war, and how prisoners of war should be taken care of. They also lay out guidelines for how wars should be fought fairly, like rules about using certain signals and treating spies. These conventions are meant to make wars a bit more humane and to protect people who aren’t directly involved in fighting. Hence these treaties shape the modern-day scenario of war in the territory.

SUGGESTION 

After reading and studying so much the author should suggest that war is never the answer. The people who are not involved in such activities i.e., civilians are the ones to suffer the most. It is important to see the role of Israel in the modern-day era. Israel is pretty important in today’s world for a few reasons. They’ve got a strong military and intelligence, which helps them deal with security threats from nearby countries and groups. They’ve been working on getting along better with other countries in the Middle East, which is a big deal. They also have good relationships with countries like the US and some in Europe. Israel is good at coming up with new ideas and technology, especially in things like computers, medicine, and renewable energy. They’re known for their startups and inventions. Even though it’s not a huge country, Israel has a pretty strong economy. They sell a lot of stuff to other countries and do a lot of business internationally. Israel has been trying to figure out how to get along better with its neighbours, especially the Palestinians. This is a big deal because it affects stability in the region. Israel is important to a lot of people for religious and historical reasons. Places like Jerusalem are really important to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and Israel’s diverse population adds to its unique identity.

Now looking into the importance of Arab nations involved like Iran and others and threats to war and humanity in general. The reliance of other nations on the Arab nations for oil plays an important role in stabilizing the region and putting effort to stop such war in general as it will affect all the other countries in general.

The intervention of the UN and bilateral talks between the nations can serve as an avenue to non-violence and will support the idea of a free Palestine.

CONCLUSION

In concluding the following thesis it is imperative to realize the importance of different states i.e., nations and the United Nations. The deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in the war-affected region. The conservation of people and human rights severe an important criterion, as civilians constitute a nation and hence a whole civilization. 

Looking at various other perspectives it is important to see the importance of territory and nations involved in war geopolitically. As war is written with the blood of innocent people and their loved ones. War can never be the answer or solution to terrorism, an eye for an eye can make the whole world blind. The conflict can be resolved diplomatically and violence is never a solution to any problem in any region. Israel and its people have already suffered a lot ranging from World War II to Israel’s Arab war and still stand strong as a nation. It is essential to look at the needs and wants of the people of Palestine who demand a free Palestine. The crucial duty is on the hands of the UN and developed nations to intervene in resolving such issues diplomatically at the table through bilateral talks. Palestine and its people should be given a place of their own which should be free from radical and terrorist organizations such as Hamas. Hence I would like to conclude my paper that war and violence cannot resolve and mend things between nations and their people, peace and universal brotherhood are the answer.

RITIKA KUMARI

Final Year Law Student at LC II, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi