JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

International Law on the Use of Force against Terrorists since 9/11: The Contrasting Cases of Israel and India

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  • April 2017
    Volume: 
    11
    Issue: 
    2
    Focus

    The international law on the use of force against terrorists has experienced a radical revision since the rise of transnational jihad of Al-Qaeda. It has sufficiently expanded to accommodate actions against terrorists in foreign territory in the wake of terrorist attacks, particularly when the foreign State is hosting terrorists and not cooperating with the victim State. However, the new legal framework does not give carte blanche to States to use force against terrorists. While using force States must strictly follow the law. Attempts to bypass the law discredit a state’s self-defence claim, even if that state has been the victim of terrorism. Two evident but contrasting examples of this assertion are Israel’s actions in Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2014) and India’s surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 2016. While the former circumvented the law and faced international criticism, the latter’s actions were within international law and therefore, found international support.

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