International law and the classification of conflicts
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012
This chapter concentrates on the structural issues of classification of the conflict in Gaza rather than specific operations and incidents. The author argues that the attempt to classify this conflict is complicated both by the unique nature of Gaza and by Israel's manipulation, and probably conscious manipulation, of legal categories. He concludes that weighing the factors that the conflict in Gaza presents, on balance it appears that Israel continues to occupy the territory, with the consequence that the conflict should be classified as an international armed conflict. On the whole it might be doubted whether classification has a practical impact on how this continuing conflict should be conducted, given the convergence of customary law rules regulating international and non-international conflict. The principal issue where a difference is apparent is in relation to the treatment of detainees. Much more serious, however, are the consequences of Israel's denial that it continues to occupy Gaza in relation to the implementation of the occupant's duties to provide, and facilitate the provision of, humanitarian relief.