The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters


Eric A. Heinze


This article examines the international law of self-defense as it applies to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict to determine whether the October 2023 attacks by Hamas against Israel can be interpreted under Article 51 of the UN Charter as an “armed attack” that gives Israel the right to use military force in self-defense against non-state actors. It situates the conflict within ongoing legal and political debates, shows how this conflict fits into a changing global reality where the most dangerous security threats do not exclusively emanate from other states and concludes that Israel’s resort to force in the current conflict appears to have a sound basis in international law.

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