Description: The most recent hostilities between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip have had a tremendous humanitarian toll, mostly borne by Palestinians. Significantly, the level of harm caused is not unprecedented as evidenced by Operation Cast Lead as well as Operation Pillar of Defense. Moreover, the ceasefire agreement that brought Operation Protective Edge to a close looked almost identical to the one established in November 2012, including a lack of implementation mechanisms. In effect, the parties are in a holding position until the next crisis is triggered. This presentation will place the crisis of the Gaza Strip into historical, political, and legal context. It will examine the transformation of the Gaza Strip from 1948 until the present with a particular emphasis the years between Israel’s unilateral deployment in 2005 and the present. In doing so, it will address fundamental questions related to the long-term security of Israelis and Palestinians as well as the potential for the US-brokered bilateral peace talks to achieve a durable solution to the conflict.
Bio: Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and activist. She is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University and a Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine. Most recently, she was a Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple Law School and has taught International Human Rights Law and the Middle East at Georgetown University since 2009. She served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, chaired by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich. Noura’s scholarly interests include humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, and national security law. Her scholarly publications include: "U.S. vs. ICRC-Customary International Humanitarian Law and Universal Jurisdiction" in the Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, “New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense” in the Arizona Law Review, and "Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement," forthcoming in the Oxford Journal of International Refugee Law. Noura’s media appearances include MSNBC, Fox News, PBS NewsHour, BBC World Service, NPR, Democracy Now, and Al Jazeera. She has published in The Nation, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post, IntlLawGrrls, The Hill, and Foreign Policy, among others. Noura is the co-editor of Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, an anthology related to the 2011 and 2012 Palestine bids for statehood at the UN.