Legality of action in International Waters

Monday, May 31, 2010
Law Expert Dr Robbie Sabel IDF action in international waters legal
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 31 May 2010

IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.

Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.

Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.

Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)

In addition: According to the San Remo Manual, it is permissible under rule 67(a) to attack neutral vessels on the high seas when the vessels “are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.”

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Website: http://www.imra.org.il

2 Responses to Legality of action in International Waters

  1. obsy says:

    I don’t know much about legal stuff, but after I have seen the press coverage, I believe Israel would have looked better if it had hired Somali pirates to stop the Free Gaza Terrorists.

  2. [...] here for some current applicability of interdiction on the high [...]

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