Both Hamas' attack on Israel on 7 October and Israel's attack on Gaza since have led to different utterances of 'International Law' by Israel, Hamas and other actors. Whereas some voices stressed Israel's right to defend itself and focused on Hamas' violations of International Law, others have emphasised Israel’s long list of war crimes committed against Palestinians living in Israel and the Palestinian-occupied territories, as well as Israel's Apartheid regime and 16 years' long blockade of Gaza. In many instances, International Law was referred to in a selective manner, demonstrating that the respective violation and application of International Law can occur simultaneously, discursively and on the ground. What's more, as is often the case with Palestine and other cases of prolonged occupation through the employment of slow state violence, this discourse unveiled International Law’s limited capacity to decipher, even if only on a linguistic level, the essential nuances necessary to understand and interpret the latest escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas.
With these thoughts in mind, the EUI's Working Groups on Palestine, on International Law, on Legal & Political Theory, and on Human & Fundamental Rights, as well as the MEDirections Programme, invite you for a roundtable discussion of the recent tragic events in Gaza and Israel. This roundtable aims to provide a safe space for an open and critical discussion of the overall political, historical, social, and geopolitical context leading to these events, as well as their global effects on Palestinians living in the diaspora, EU policy towards Israel, Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority, and the role of International Law, as a frame of reference, alongside the international communities' reactions and involvement in these events.
Considering the context in which we write the description of this event and the ongoing developments on the ground, the event's programme is meant to offer short commentaries by the speakers while leaving enough time for a longer open discussion between all those in attendance.