20 Brook. J. Int'l L. 355 (1993-1995)
Application of Israeli Law to the Golan Heights is Annexation

handle is hein.journals/bjil20 and id is 363 raw text is: APPLICATION OF ISRAELI LAW TO THE
GOLAN HEIGHTS IS ANNEXATION
Asher Maoz*
I. INTRODUCTION: AN ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSOR SHELEFFS
ARGUMENT
Are the Golan Heights a part of Israel? The debate centers
on a very narrow issue: did the Israeli legislature intend to
annex the Golan Heights, and if so, did it succeed in carrying
out its intention? The parameters of the dispute having been
thus outlined, the question is which is the most appropriate
interpretation of the Golan Heights Law.
I concur with Professor Sheleff' regarding three issues,
and take issue with one. I concur with his claim that as a
matter of principle, international law does not recognize unilat-
eral annexation by an occupying state of the territory captured
by it as a result of war.' I also agree with his assumption that
* Senior Lecturer, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law
1. Leon Sheleff, The Application of Israeli Law to the Golan Heights Is Not
Annexation, 20 BROOK. J. INT'L L. 333 (1994).
2. Id. at 336 n.10. Sheleff relies on the summary of the topic as it appears
in YORAM DINSTEIN, THE LAW OF WAR 210-11 (1983); see also YORAM DINSTEIN,
WAR, AGGRESSION AND SELF DEFENCE 157-58 (1988); 1 LASSA OPPENHEIM, INTER-
NATIONAL LAW: A TREATISE (Robert Jennings et al. eds., 1992); MALcOLM N. SHAW,
INTERNATIONAL LAW 284, 287 (3d ed. 1991).
Regarding the question of the applicability of this principle to the territories
conquered by Israel during the Six Day War, see ESTHER R. COHEN, HUMAN
RIGHTS IN THE ISRAELI OCCUPIED TERRITORIES, 1967-1982, at 43 (1985); John N.
Moore, The Arab Israeli Conflict and the Obligation to Pursue Peaceful Settlement
of International Disputes, in 2 THE ARAB ISRAELI CONFLICT: READINGS 739, 760-63
(John N. Moore ed., 1974). Moore discusses the question of the rights of Egypt
and Jordan over the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank; territories
that they had conquered in the course of the War of Independence in 1948. He
concludes that, in the absence of an arrangement that can guarantee Palestinian-
Arabic self-determination in those territories, [n]ineteen years of de facto control
may nevertheless give rise to substantial expectations of a right, under interna-
tional law, to protect . . . the 'ownership' expectations of a deprived state. Moore,
supra, at 762-63.
Professor Lauterpacht suggested that, since a distinction is made between a
war of aggression and a war of self-defense, the rule regarding unilateral changes
in territory resulting from the use of force is applicable only to the illegal use of
force. As a result, there is no prohibition to the annexation of territories that were
captured in a war of self-defense. ELIHU LAUTERPACHT, JERUSALEM AND THE HOLY

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