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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 33 The Israeli Raid Against the PLO Headquarters in Tunis—1985

Erin Pobjie, Fanny Declercq, Raphaël Van Steenberghe

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: 23 June 2024

Individuals and non-state actors — Self-defence — International organizations — Armed attack

This chapter examines the Israeli raid against the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) headquarters in Tunis in 1985. It first sets out the facts and context of the raid, the positions of the main protagonists (Israel and Tunisia) and the reactions of third States and international organizations. The chapter then analyses the legal issues raised by the incident under international law as it stood at the time, and its impact on the jus ad bellum. The 1985 raid was an early example of a claimed right to exercise self-defence in response to attacks committed by non-state actors without those attacks being attributable to the state on whose territory the action in self-defence takes place. However, it is argued that this incident left unsettled whether or not such a right was accepted at the time.

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