Wednesday, June 9, 2010


69. Under Art. 3 of the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation of 1988, it is an international crime for any person or group of persons to seize or exercise control over a ship by force, and also a crime to injure or kill any person in the process. One cannot attack a ship and then claim self-defence if the people on board are resisting the armed hijackers. According to international law, the actions of the Israeli military were beyond the law and should be treated exactly the same as the Somali pirates hijacking ships off the African coast. Under maritime law anyone is legally entitled to resist unlawful capture, abduction and detention by any means at his/hers disposal.
Reference: Law of the Seas, Part VII
Artcle 87(a) provides for "Freedom of Navigation"
Article 88 states: 'The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes'
Article 89 states: "No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty"