Military Occupation

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Military Occupation

Military occupation occurs when a belligerent state invades the territory of another state with the intention of holding the territory at least temporarily. While hostilities continue, the occupying state is prohibited by International Law from annexing the territory or creating another state out of it, but the occupying state may establish some form of military administration over the territory and the population. Under the Martial Law imposed by this regime, residents are required to obey the occupying authorities and may be punished for not doing so. Civilians may also be compelled to perform a variety of nonmilitary tasks for the occupying authorities, such as the repair of roads and buildings, provided such work does not contribute directly to the enemy war effort.

Although the power of the occupying army is broad, the military authorities are obligated under international law to maintain public order, respect private property, and honor individual liberties. Civilians may not be deported to the occupant's territory to perform forced labor nor impressed into military service on behalf of the occupying army. Although measures may be imposed to protect and maintain the occupying forces, existing laws and administrative rules are not to be changed. Regulations of the Hague Conventions of 1907 and, more importantly, the 1949 geneva convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War have attempted to codify and expand the protection afforded the local population during periods of military occupation.



West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Margalit explores the duty to investigate state-caused civilian casualties during armed conflict and belligerent occupation. Various challenges are encountered by states involved in contemporary armed conflicts, and military operations are increasingly taking place in urban areas, often with non-state armed groups operating from a civilian environment.
(109) In analogizing the law of war to that of a belligerent occupation, the court set the foundation for both the protections of the proportionality doctrine as well as the possible problems that a "security interest" paradigm can create for a population.
The committee's report concluded that from an international legal perspective, the West Bank is not occupied territory; the law of belligerent occupation is not applicable to the area; the "prevailing view " is that Jewish settlements are lawful; and that Israel has a valid claim to sovereignty over the territory.
Moreover, the United Nations defines it as a "belligerent occupation," and the colonization illegal under international law.
One may hope that Bennett's blast of honesty will blow away any residual illusions within those Western governments which have for decades been blocking the realisation of a Palestinian state on the ground by arguing that a Palestinian state can only exist, even on a purely legal level, as a result of negotiations with Israel -- i.e., after almost half a century of belligerent occupation, with the prior consent of the occupying power.
For its part, Israel attempts to justify its "belligerent occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza, its settlements there, its confiscation of Palestinian land, and a great deal more.
It was addressed the following night when the British House of Commons voted overwhelmingly (274-12) in favor of the United Kingdom's extending diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution," implicitly while its entire territory remains under belligerent occupation and without Israel's prior permission.
But equally significant are Israel's oppressive twin policies of belligerent occupation in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and a political system of exclusive Jewish privilege inside Israel.All Palestinians, Muslim and Christian alike, have been harmed by Israeli rule.
Chapters cover foundations; basic principles; historical development; definition of armed conflict; classifying conflicts; the law of belligerent occupation; combatant classification, privileges, and protections; civilian immunities and protections; battlefield status in non-international armed conflict; legitimate targets and protected objects; planning and launching attacks; weapons and tactics; training in the law of armed conflict and the role of the judge advocate; and accountability for violations.
When states engage in internal armed conflict and belligerent occupation, their assertion of public powers of governance over an affected population entails a concomitant fiduciary obligation to satisfy the strict proportionality standard of international human rights law.
The relationship going forward would be governed by international law, the law applicable to all states, rather than by some uncertain mix of the law of belligerent occupation, coupled with endlessly complex elements of Israeli, Jordanian, Egyptian and Ottoman law.
The Palmer report ignores the basic fact that Gaza is under belligerent occupation. This is so despite Israel's 2005 pullout, given Israel's continuing control of Gaza's borders.