Date of Thesis



Israel's occupation of territories it captured in 1967 has become one of the longest and most controversial occupations of the last fifty years. Eschewing the traditional political analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this paper aims to explore whether Israel has adequately applied international law in the occupied territories, in particular, the law of belligerent occupation. The two actors under assessment are the Israeli government, particularly its military which enforces and maintains the law in the territories, and the Supreme Court of Israel, which has the power of review over military actions in the territories. The particular issues of the occupation that are critically analyzed are the general legal framework that Israel established in the territories, Israel's civilian settlement policy in territories, and Israel's construction of a barrier in the West Bank. This paper concludes that Israel has incorrectly applied the legal framework of belligerent occupation by refusing to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention; it has wrongly concluded that the establishment of civilian settlements in the territories conform with international law; yet it has rightly concluded that the construction of the barrier in the West Bank is permissible under international law, in contrast to the conclusion of the much publicized International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion on the 'Wall.' Along with these general assessments, the author will also provide some historical and political insight into why the Israeli government and the Supreme Court may have applied the law in the way that they did.


International Law, Israel

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)


Political Science

First Advisor

Tony Massoud