On the night of May 29, the Israeli Knesset voted to approve a law dissolving the 21st Knesset. The country just held a general election in early April—but under the law, Israelis will now go to the polls again less than six months later, on Sept. 17.
Amichai Cohen teaches international law and national security law at the Ono Academic College, Israel, where he previously served as the dean of the Faculty of Law. He is also a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Cohen received his LL.B. degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his LL.M. and J.S.D. degrees from Yale Law School.
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In recent weeks, the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice (HCJ) for administrative matters, handed down three decisions regarding house demolitions. The first one—Naji v. IDF Commander of the West Bank, issued on Dec.
Israel’s Military Advocate General Terminates ‘Black Friday’ and Other Investigations: Initial Observations
Since 2014, the IDF has been conducting investigations into incidents that took place in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014) and raised concerns about Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) compliance with Israeli law and international law of armed conflict. In the course of the investigation, the office of the Military Advocate General (MAG)—Israel’s chief military legal officer—has reviewed some 360 incidents, referring 24 of them for criminal investigation. These have led so far to the conviction of three soldiers for the crime of looting.
Fact and Fiction About the Amendment of the Israeli Supreme Court’s Jurisdiction Over West Bank Cases
The Israeli legislature has taken another step toward blurring the lines distinguishing the Israeli legal system from the one that exists in the West Bank. The Knesset recently passed an amendment that transfers original jurisdiction over certain cases concerning the West Bank from the Supreme Court of Israel (in its capacity as the High Court of Justice) to the Administrative Affairs Court in Jerusalem (a subdivision of the Jerusalem District Court).
In the early hours of Saturday morning, an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace close to the Syrian border. Israel shot down the UAV and responded by attacking the command vehicle, deep inside Syrian territory, that was operating the drone. Syrian anti-aircraft missiles shot down one of the Israeli airplanes that participated in the strike over Israeli territory. In response, Israel bombed a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.
The constitutional authority over the use of force by the United States has been a subject of ongoing legal and political debates, including on Lawfare. There are disagreements about the proper scope of the powers of the president vis-a-vis Congress and regarding the proper scope of the congressional authorizations for the use of force. Some of the discussions are unique to the U.S., but the principled issues of the balance between the different branches of government in matters of national security and the proper mechanism to create accountability in these matters are universal.