Protective Edge: Factual and Legal Aspects

The 2014 Gaza Conflict: Factual and Legal Aspects

On July 7, 2014, the Government of Israel ordered the Israel Defense Forces to launch an aerial operation against Hamas and other terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip. This operation, termed “Operation Protective Edge”, was launched in response to increasing rocket and mortar fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip during June and early July 2014, and despite Israel's continued efforts at de-escalation. On July 17, 2014, as a result of Hamas's continued rejection of ceasefire initiatives, ongoing rocket and mortar fire and the execution of attacks in Israeli territory by sea and through cross-border assault tunnels, the Government of Israel authorized the entry of ground forces into a limited area of the Gaza Strip. These ground forces were tasked with identifying and neutralizing the cross-border assault tunnels, which originated from the outskirts of the urban areas of the Gaza Strip. The ground forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip on August 5, after locating and neutralising 32 cross-border assault tunnels, and despite ongoing rocket and mortar attacks against Israel. The 2014 Gaza Conflict concluded on August 26, with an unconditional ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
The following links are to official documents concerning factual and legal aspects of the 2014 Gaza Conflict. These documents provide information on the following topics: background to the armed conflict that Hamas has waged against Israel for over a decade; the circumstances that led Israel to launch Operation Protective Edge; the effect of Hamas's attacks on Israel's civilian population and Israel's civil defense measures; the tactics of Hamas and other terrorist organizations during the conflict and their violations of international law; detailed factual and legal information concerning the actions of the IDF during the conflict, including the steps taken before and during the conflict to ensure Israel's compliance with the Law of Armed Conflict; and Israel's examination and investigation mechanism for dealing with alleged misconduct by IDF forces.
Additional information regarding the 2014 Gaza Conflict will be uploaded to this site as it is released.
  • The 2014 Gaza Conflict: Factual and Legal Aspects - The Full Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Chapter I: Introduction
  • Chapter II: The Background to the 2014 Gaza Conflict
  • Chapter III: Israel's Objectives and Phases of the 2014 Gaza Conflict
  • Chapter IV: Hamas's Violations of the Law and War Crimes
  • Chapter V: The Threat to Israel’s Civilian Population and Israel’s Civil Defence Measures
  • Chapter VI: IDF Conduct During the 2014 Gaza Conflict
  • Chapter VII: Israel's Investigation of Alleged Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict
  • Annex: Palestinian Fatality Figures in the 2014 Gaza Conflict

  • Additional Information

    For additional information and updates on the status of IDF Military Advocate General investigations see:
  • Update No. 1, September 10, 2014
  • Update No. 2, December 7, 2014
  • Update No. 3, March 22, 2015
  • Update No. 4, June 11, 2015

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