Volume L – Number 1

Richard R. Baxter

Abstract: International law, plagued by political interests, failed to govern the Arab-Israeli conflict triggered by the 1948 termination of the Mandate of Palestine. Considering no peace settlement is in prospect, laws should written neutrally, void of political bias, with emphasis on protection of individuals and non-participant states. Moreover, international supervision should be executed by impartial entities, such as Protecting Powers, rather than political agencies, who have proven lack of credibility when inquiring into Israeli conduct. The history of the Straits of Tiran and Suez Canal demonstrate how armistices do not override rights, and that the belligerent that occupies a waterway may exercise the same rights, including seizure and denial of passage, as it can on the high seas. Additionally, the West Bank — despite the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hauge Relations of 1907 — became de facto Israeli territory, although it was not overtly annexed, which would have broken international law. Israel argued that the Civilians Convention did not apply to the West Bank as the occupied territory, due to the 1949 Armistices, was never under Jordanian sovereignty; therefore, Israeli sovereignty could legitimately extend into the terra nullius. Furthermore, due to disputed territorial claims, the human rights of the population, especially combatants, in occupied lands have been contested and often considered violated.

Keywords: Arab, Israel, Conflict, Suez Canal, West Bank, Strait of Tiran, Geneva Convention, disputed territory 

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