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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 20 The Larnaca Incident—1978

Constantine Antonopoulos

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 May 2024

Protective measures — Protected persons and property — Ius ad bellum

This contribution examines the 1978 Egyptian commando operation at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus. It sets out the facts and context of the incident, the legal positions of the states involved (Egypt and Cyprus) and the international community’s reactions. It then evaluates the legality of the Egyptian operation by reference to the international legal framework governing the use of force as it stood at the time of the events. The final section examines if, and to what extent, the case has had an impact on the further development of the ius ad bellum, in particular whether it has contributed to an exception to the prohibition on the use of force for the protection of a state’s nationals abroad.

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