Who protects the Palestinians in Gaza? : analysis of the legal basis for responsibility of the international community and obstacles to its implementation

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Brugnola, Serena
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The question this paper addresses is “Who should protect the people of Gaza and on which legal basis?”.The question refers to the heated debate about the application of the Responsibility to Protect regime in Palestine in general, and Gaza in particular, and the obstacles to its implementation. The essay starts with a brief overview of the history behind the emergence of the RtoP doctrine, which finds its roots in a nearly revolutionary development of the concept of state sovereignty. Two of the most controversial cases linked to the application of the regime, namely Libya and Syria, are mentioned with the purpose of introducing and analysing some of the problems that lie at the heart of RtoP. These, in particular, concern primarily the lack of consensus about the meaning of certain elements of the doctrine and the “legal emptiness” of this innovative framework, which is, both for its origins and for its functioning, of a mainly political nature. In the second chapter, then, the essay investigates what could be the international legal basis for applying the regime of RtoP to the Gaza Strip, with particular reference to alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law by all sides of the conflict. The third and final chapter aims at assessing whether the doctrine of RtoP applies to Gaza and why it has not been implemented yet. Finally, the essay concludes by summing up the weaknesses and limits of RtoP and describing the obstacles that are yet to be overcome in order for RtoP to develop into a tool of international law that can impede the loss of life from unreasonable violence
Second semester University: National University of Ireland, Galway.
international status, Gaza Strip, responsibility to protect