Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law
Israel, Palestine, Gaza Strip, Goldstone Report
At the end of 2008, Israel launched a three-week military offensive in the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), during which Israel carried out over 2,360 air strikes and numerous ground assaults over Gaza, causing the death of approximately 1,300 Palestinians, and wounding over 5,000 individuals. The Gaza conflict sparked numerous allegations of war crimes and international humanitarian law violations by both Israel and Hamas. Thus, the Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed a U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Mission) led by prominent international jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone Mission issued the Goldstone Report in September 2009, concluding that both Israel and Hamas committed international law violations by indiscriminately targeting civilians. It is a fair assertion that the Goldstone Report was met by controversy. Israel and its most important allies, such as the United States, have condemned the Report and have questioned its veracity and authenticity. Arab states, as well as other, less Israel-friendly states, have hailed the Goldstone Report as an important international legal document shedding light on international humanitarian law violations committed by Israeli forces and calling into question the Israeli policy over Gaza. This Article will attempt to illuminate the above debate, by examining the history of Israel and its policy vis-a-vis the Gaza Strip, Operation Cast Lead itself and its aftermath, as well as the relevant provisions international humanitarian law as they apply to the Gaza Strip. This Article will conclude that the Goldstone Report, despite all the controversy surrounding it, nonetheless represents an invaluable contribution to international humanitarian law and to international relations in their application to the volatile Middle East region.
Milena Sterio, The Gaza Strip: Israel, Its Foreign Policy, and the Goldstone Report, 43 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 229 (2010)