Why Israeli Raids on Terrorists Don’t Violate International Law

On Tuesday, Israeli troops entered the West Bank city of Jenin to apprehend the terrorist who murdered Hallel and Yagel Yaniv on February 6. As often happens during such raids, they were drawn into a shoot-out, resulting in deaths of the warranted terrorist and five of his associates. The wave of terror over the past year has made such incidents frequent; Akiva Van Koningsveld examines their permissibility under international law:

International law is not “law” in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, it is a combination of treaties and agreements between and among numerous sovereign nations and other subjects of international law. In the case of Israel and the Palestinians, the relevant agreements are the Oslo Accords, a series of interim arrangements forged in the 1990s between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Crucially, the IDF’s withdrawal from [parts of the West Bank] was conditioned on the Palestinian leadership vowing to fight terrorism and incitement to hatred. . . . International law, specifically the Vienna Convention—which codifies universal rules governing treaties—embraces the principle that international agreements are reciprocal. Accordingly, if the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to act against incessant terrorism emanating from areas under its control in a way that constitutes a “material breach,” . . . Israel would likely be entitled to suspend “in whole or in part” its redeployment from parts of the West Bank.

It is safe to say that the PA’s record of compliance with the Oslo Accords, which are binding agreements under international law, has been poor in recent years, likely to the point where it justifies Israeli countermeasures in accordance with the Vienna Convention. [By contrast], the Israeli government has a duty to act against terror groups in the West Bank. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted by the United Nations, makes it clear that nations should protect the safety and welfare of their own citizens.

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: International Law, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian terror, West Bank

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy