Violence and State Attribution: The Case of Occupied Palestine
state-backed crimes
settler violence
state responsibility
occupied Palestine

Israel, as an occupying power, has the obligation to protect Palestinians against all acts of violence. This article examines Israeli settler violence from the lens of this obligation and of the law of state responsibility. In doing so, it first provides examples of settler attacks against Palestinians, with particular emphasis on acts of violence that are backed up or facilitated by state security forces. Second, in an analysis of these acts of settler violence, it argues that these belong to the category of state-backed crimes. Third, it outlines what constitutes state responsibility for wrongful acts, as codified in international law, and demonstrates that acts of settler violence are crimes that are attributable to the state, which trigger state responsibility. Settler violence against Palestinians, which is often lethal and always injurious, is not and has never been a matter of domestic law enforcement.

Author biography: 
Mais Qandeel is an associate professor of international law at Örebro University, Sweden. Her research focuses on the contemporary challenges of human rights and on environmental issues within international law. She is the author of Enforcing Human Rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory (Berlin: Carl Grossmann Verlag, 2018).