The law applicable to non-occupied Gaza : a comment on Bassiouni v. the Prime Minister of Israel
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Israel law review, Vol. 42, no. 1, 2009, p. 101-116
Although Israel no longer effectively controls Gaza, Israel’s of overwhelming physical dominance over Gaza, coupled with the historical links of dependence, were likely central to the balancing formula applied by the High Court of Justice in Bassiouni v. The Prime Minister. The proposed solution—Israel assumes obligations that go beyond the requirements of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in situations of siege but that fall short of the requirements applicable in situations of occupation—is the “basic humanitarian needs” standard. The main weakness of the Court’s decision is not the final outcome it prescribes but the underdeveloped legal analysis of the alternative grounds for imposing obligations on the Israel. This unnecessarily complicates attempts to grasp the full implications of the decision and to identify its precedential value. However, the judgment should be viewed as endorsing the need to step outside IHL and look for additional legal norms governinghumanitarian interests which may reflect our moral sensibilities and contemporary needs in a more appropriate manner than the traditional rules of IHL.