Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What Rules Apply if it Isn't War Between Hamas and Israel?

You'd think so. All this San Remo stuff requires it. I'd assumed that San Remo applies. But I've read a few comments around that seem to imply otherwise. I don't believe it is IS a war, since Gaza is not a a state, but an occupied territory or protectorate.

So what are the rules if they aren't? Well, let's turn to the Convention of the High Seas, article 22:

1. Except where acts of interference derive from powers conferred by treaty, a warship which encounters a foreign merchant ship on the high seas is not justified in boarding her unless there is reasonable ground for suspecting: (a) That the ship is engaged in piracy; or (b) That the ship is engaged in the slave trade; or (c) That though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the ship is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship."
That seems fairly straightforward. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it feels like using San Remo at all puts the cart before the horse, since it absolves Israel of its influence and control of the Gaza strip. It puts all the responsibilities of a sovereign state on Gaza, without the rights of a sovereign state.

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