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Palestinians’ Right to Self-Defense

And Why Israel Is not Entitled to “Self-Defense” Against the People Under Its Occupation

Islamic Viewpoint And From

Other Legal Scholars and Writers


By OmarKN


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From the Quran as well as under international law, the Palestinians have a lawful right to resist Israel’s occupation of their lands, including through armed struggle.

Israel is a settler-colonial and apartheid state.


Section A - The Islamic Point of View

Allah (may His Majesty be exalted !) says:
{Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is most Able to give them (the faithful believers) victory/ aid.}
22-39

Quran-22-39_e
Quran-22-39_a

This general permission is subject to rules and regulations in the Sharia.

Praise be to God Who sets the boundaries of war and does not love transgressors !
Anyone ignoring and counteracting the standard rules of engagement (especially the killing of non-combatants) will have to see himself go to hell/ be punished for that in the Next World.
Related: Defending the Transgressed: Mudafi' al-Mazlum, by Sh M Afifi al-Akiti



Section B - Other Points of View

[What follows are all quotes from the linked articles.]

Palestinian American legal scholar Noura Erakat says Israel’s “right to self-defense” does not apply against an occupied people. “You cannot dominate another people and then use the claim of self-defense in order to protect that domination.”[1] @democracynow, 2021-05-23

Noura-Erakat
A sequence from the interview (= https://t.co/lDnaFi0SZg )

Israel is not protecting its population, Israel is protecting its dominance [over the occupied people.]


The Articles


1. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory
2. Israel Isn’t Entitled to “Self-Defense” Against the People Under Its Occupation
3. No phrase distorts reality more than 'Israel's right to self-defence'
4. As an Occupier, Israel Has No Right to “Self-Defense”
5. Palestinians Have a Right to Defend Themselves
6. Self-defence and the right to resist occupation
7. The Right of Armed Self-Defense in International Law and Self-Defense Arguments Used in the Second Lebanon War
8. International Law Series: The Right to Self Defense - Pro-Israel Page

1.

No, Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense
In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory - Jadaliyya
2012, Noura Erakat

A state cannot simultaneously exercise control over territory it occupies and militarily attack that territory on the claim that it is “foreign” and poses an exogenous national security threat. In doing precisely that, Israel is asserting rights that may be consistent with colonial domination but simply do not exist under international law. …
[But] Israel’s reinterpretation would cast the law as an instrument that protects colonial authority at the expense of the rights of civilian non-combatants.

Israel Has A Duty To Protect Palestinians Living Under Occupation

Military occupation is a recognized status under international law and since 1967, the international community has designated the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as militarily occupied. As long as the occupation continues, Israel has the right to protect itself and its citizens from attacks by Palestinians who reside in the occupied territories. However, Israel also has a duty to maintain law and order, also known as “normal life,” within territory it occupies. This obligation includes not only ensuring but prioritizing the security and well-being of the occupied population. That responsibility and those duties are enumerated in Occupation Law.

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Occupation Law prohibits an occupying power from initiating armed force against its occupied territory. By mere virtue of the existence of military occupation, an armed attack, including one consistent with the UN Charter, has already occurred and been concluded. Therefore the right of self-defense in international law is, by definition since 1967, not available to Israel with respect to its dealings with real or perceived threats emanating from the West Bank and Gaza Strip population. To achieve its security goals, Israel can resort to no more than the police powers, or the exceptional use of militarized force, vested in it by IHL. This is not to say that Israel cannot defend itself—but those defensive measures can neither take the form of warfare nor be justified as self-defense in international law.

An occupying power cannot justify military force as self-defense in territory for which it is responsible as the occupant. The problem is that Israel has never regulated its own behavior in the West Bank and Gaza as in accordance with Occupation Law. 

Israel’s refusal to recognize the occupied status of the territory, bolstered by the US’ resilient and intransigent opposition to international accountability within the UN Security Council, has resulted in the condition that exists today: prolonged military occupation. Whereas the remedy to occupation is its cessation, such recourse will not suffice to remedy prolonged military occupation. By virtue of its decades of military rule, Israel has characterized all Palestinians as a security threat and Jewish nationals as their potential victims, thereby justifying the differential, and violent, treatment of Palestinians.

In complete disregard for international law, and its institutional findings, Israel continues to treat the Occupied Territory as colonial possessions.

In effect, Israel is distorting/reinterpreting international law to justify its use of militarized force in order to protect its colonial authority.

More broadly, Israel is slowly pushing the boundaries of existing law in an explicit attempt to reshape it.

Failure to uphold the law would allow states to behave according to their own whim in furtherance of their national interest, even in cases where that is detrimental to civilian non-combatants and to the international legal order. For better or worse, the onus to resist this shift and to preserve protection for civilians rests upon the shoulders of citizens, organizations, and mass movements who can influence their governments enforce international law. There is no alternative to political mobilization to shape state behavior.[3]


2.

Israel Isn’t Entitled to “Self-Defense” Against the People Under Its Occupation
by Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

14 May 2021 — As an occupying power, Israel cannot use military force … does not have the right to use military force in self-defense against its occupied territory.

By only stepping in to name Hamas’ actions — which are condemnable — and refusing to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is not neutral language. It takes a side — the side of occupation.”

Claims like Blinken’s obscure the fact that nearly all of Israel’s targets have been civilians.

Moreover, as an occupying power, Israel cannot use military force against the occupied Palestinian people because under international law, the occupier has a duty to protect the territory it occupies.

Palestinians Have a Lawful Right to Resist Israeli Occupation

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Under international law, the Palestinians have a lawful right to resist Israel’s occupation of their lands, including through armed struggle. In 1982, the UN General Assembly ’reaffirmed the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.’

Noura Erakat, a human rights attorney and associate professor at Rutgers University, wrote in Jadaliyya, ’A state cannot simultaneously exercise control over territory it occupies and militarily attack that territory on the claim that it is ‘foreign’ and poses an exogenous national security threat. In doing precisely that, Israel is asserting rights that may be consistent with colonial domination but simply do not exist under international law.’[2]


3.

No phrase distorts reality more than ‘Israel’s right to self-defence’
12 May 2021, by CJ Werleman

According to international law it is Palestinians who have the right to defend themselves against an occupying force.

When hundreds of allies of the Netanyahu Government marched through the streets of Jerusalem barely two weeks ago, chanting “Death to Arabs” - did the US Government respond by saying, “Palestinians have a right to defend themselves”?

No, it did not.

When dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed al-Aqsa mosque during the final Friday prayers of Ramadan, spraying worshippers with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and flash bang grenades, leaving hundreds injured and dozens hospitalised – did the US Government respond by saying, “Palestinians have a right to defend themselves”?

No, it did not.

How about when Israeli warplanes bombed a residential building in Gaza on Sunday, killing 20 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children – did the US Government then say, “Palestinians have a right to defend themselves”?

No, it did not – and never once in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has the US government uttered those words, but what US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did say on Monday, after all of the above events had taken place during the past two weeks, and only after Hamas fired rockets from Gaza in retaliation is: “Israel has a right to self-defence.”

International law is unambiguous in its endorsement of “armed struggle” for peoples who seek self-determination under “colonial and foreign domination.”

01_Zionist-ochildren-barbed-wire-Palestine-ei

United Nations resolution 37/43, dated 3 December 1982, “reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”

Moreover, the resolution’s preamble makes clear that it refers not to a hypothetical in the abstract, but rather specifically to the rights of Palestinians, stating: “Considering that the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, sovereignty, independence and return to Palestine and the repeated acts of aggression by Israel against the peoples of the region constitute a serious threat to international peace and security.”

In other words, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is illegal, and therefore Palestinians have a right to “armed struggle” against their illegal occupier – Israel, ipso facto, Palestinians have a right to defend themselves against Israel, but Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian resistance is not guaranteed in the same manner.


4.

As an Occupier, Israel Has No Right to “Self-Defense” - Jacobin
16 May 2021 by Bashir Abu-Manneh

Today Israel uses self-defense as its key rhetorical tool for war. By invoking self-defense, Israel changes the conversation from its colonial crimes against the Palestinians to the injuries it has itself incurred as a result. Yet it is precisely because Israel is denying Palestinians their human rights, including the right of self-determination, that it cannot claim self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force. In fact, Israel’s conduct is clearly part of a state-driven occupation project for which it is criminally liable.

There are two main reasons why Israel’s self-defense premise is flawed. First, self-defense does not apply to an occupying state’s wars against those it occupies — it is not relevant for Israel in relation to the Palestinians. Second, what Israel does in Gaza violates all known conditions for self-defense, especially the necessity of war when peace is easily available, discrimination between soldiers and civilians, and the proportionality of harm inflicted in achieving military aims.”

14_Zionist-shooting-Palestine

Norman Finkelstein argues that “Israel … has no legal mandate to use force against the Palestinian self-determination struggle.” Why? Because “Israel cannot pretend to a right of self-defense if the exercise of this right traces back to the wrong of an illegal occupation/denial of self-determination (ex injuria non oritur jus - No legal benefit or right can be derived from an illegal act).”


5.

Palestinians Have a Right to Defend Themselves - Jacobin
14 May 2021, by Greg Shupak

Everywhere in the media and in the halls of power, we hear that Israel has a right to self-defense. But when it comes to the question of whether Palestinians suffering under brutal occupation have the right to defend themselves, those same voices are conspicuously silent.

When the Washington bureau chief for Al-Quds daily asked whether Palestinians shared in the right to self-defense, Price’s response was equivocal, affirming that “the concept of self-defense,” should apply “to any state.” To the stateless Palestinians, one can then conclude, the State Department extends no such rights.

This is a double standard shared by much of the corporate media, as well as among politicians, across Western democracies.

06_Zionist-mother-child-running-Palestine-ei

Implicit in this double standard is the idea that Palestinians should simply submit to their own murder, assault, and dispossession. Presently, that means acquiescing to Israeli efforts to steal Palestinian houses from six families in the Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah. It means that Palestinians are supposed to unconditionally surrender to Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa compound and on the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself, the third holiest site in Islam — including the hurling of grenades at worshippers as they prayed — during Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month.

Since 2008, Israel has killed roughly 6,000 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians — 1,250 were children. By comparison, 251 Israelis have been killed in the same period. Since 2009, Israeli demolitions have displaced over 11,400 Palestinians, more than 2,600 of them in East Jerusalem. Almost 620,000 Israelis are settled on Palestinian land in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law.


6.

Self-defence and the right to resist occupation - The Guardian
4 Apr 2002 —

The right of self-defence is used to justify actions in the occupied territories (Show Israelis more sympathy, urges Straw, April 3). There is no right of self-defence for an occupying force. Clearly, actions taken by the Palestinian people, in land internationally recognised as illegally occupied by Israel, are legitimate acts of resistance, subject only to the rules of war.

08_Zionist-smoke-grenades-Palestine

The tactics of the Israeli occupying forces thus far have been systematic brutalisation and frequent killings of unarmed civilians and feebly armed protesters. That such immoral and illegal “policing” tactics have not thus far concerned the west indicates only the flexible application of our moral codes where Israel is concerned.

The US, the EU and, most of all, the former protecting power, Britain, could even now act decisively to prevent what threatens to become a crime against humanity.
Dr Martin Cohen
… No one could condone the suicide bombings which strike horrifically at innocent people going about their daily lives. But those whose job it will be to build a new peace must be honest about the failures of the old one. Fran Russell


7.

The Right of Armed Self-Defense in International Law and Self-Defense Arguments Used in the Second Lebanon War
2007–2008, by Y Shiryaev

The loss of life and damage to environs were far greater than could reasonably have been justified to the right of self-defense: they were out of of proportion to the objectives that Israel could reasonably have been entitled to achieve.” Legal scholar Donald Greig et.al. regarding Israel’s 1982 operation in Lebanon.

According to Professor Frederic Kirgis, the intensity of force used in self-defense must be about the same as the intensity defended against. Professor Capaldo extends this theory by saying that the “principle of the proportionality of legitimate defense means that the degree of force used in self-defense must be commensurate [corresponding in size or degree; in proportion] with the end to be achieved - the restoration of the rights violated as the result of an armed attack”. This means that force must be “strictly necessary” in any situation and “directed” at the removal of the violation and at restoration of violated rights.[4]

15_boy-against-zionist-tank


8.

International Law Series: The Right to Self Defense
Pro-Israel page

13 Jan 2010 — …invoke self-defense in response to attacks from non-state actors in occupied territory. … groups deliberately targeted Israeli civilians and population centers. … then Israel does not need to invoke self-defense rights in using force.

”Contrary to these NGO claims, the right of self-defense does not solely emanate from Article 51 but is rooted in customary international law. Therefore, Israel enjoys customary self-defense rights regardless of whether Article 51 is applicable.”

17b_israels-right-to-self-defense








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[ 9/11urls: look for evidence of Zionist involvement in 9/11! ]
[Bryt belägringen av Gaza!] swedish flag








  1. “It Is Apartheid”: Rights Group B’Tselem on How Israel Advances Jewish Supremacy Over Palestinians Democracy Now!

  2. Related:
    Marjorie Cohn: Donald Trump’s War Crimes, April 7, 2017
    2 keywords: Self-defense, white phosphorous,

  3. Noura Erakat also refers to Christine Gray ‘On the Law of Defense’: International Law and the Use of Force: 4th Edition (Foundations of Public International Law

  4. Also part of this article: 9/11 and Its Impact on International Law





* Living Islam – Islamic Tradition *