For INTERNATIONAL LAW and INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Students, Graduates and Practitioners


International Law and the Israel-Palestine Conflict


Wednesday 26 June – Friday 5 July 2019

Jerusalem – Israel


The Israel-Palestine conflict is perhaps the oldest and most complex conflict in the world.

  • The State of Israel came into existence in 1948, but today many states and other international actors do not acknowledge its existence.
  • In 1920, after WWI, a system of “mandates” was created that led to the creation of the states of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.
  • The Mandate for Palestine envisioned the establishment of the Jewish homeland in Palestine. Since the mid-20th century, the idea has developed that international law requires resolution of the conflict by creating a State of Palestine – the so-called Two-state Solution.
  • Many UN resolutions declare Israeli settlements to be “illegal” and demand a state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and borders based on the ‘4 June 1967 lines’.
  • In the early 1990’s, Israel entered into a series of agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (the “Oslo Accords”). These agreements have partially been implemented but the “final status” negotiations between Israel and the PLO have ground to a halt.
  • In the meantime, the PLO has pushed forward to achieve international recognition of Palestine, and in fact over 130 states have now recognized Palestine as a state.
  • As a result, the situation in and around Israel may be characterised by a complex matrix of legal regimes, many unresolved issues and increasing violence.

The Israel-Palestine conflict clearly is a highly politicized and emotional conflict with almost intractable positions at both ends.



The objective of this Summer School is to examine how international law addresses some of the key issues arising out of this conflict. It aims to give participants a deeper understanding and insight into the international legal complexities of the Israel-Palestine conflict, set against the political, historical and religious background of the conflict.

After the Summer School the participants will be able to better –

  1. analyze and assess the legal aspects of international disputes – in the Middle East and elsewhere,
  2. understand the legitimate rights of Israelis and Palestinians under international law.



The following themes will be addressed:

  • Historical overview of the Israel-Palestinian conflict
  • The State of Israel – both ‘Jewish’ and ‘democratic’?
  • The PLO, the “The State of Palestine” and the right of Palestinians to self-determination under international law
  • Human rights in Israel and the territories under Palestinian control
  • Determining the territorial limits and boundaries of the State of Israel
  • The “occupied territories” and legal status of Israeli ‘settlements’
  • The status of Jerusalem under international law and assessment of the competing Israeli and Palestinian claims
  • The peace process and the role of the international community in the resolution of the conflict.


Program and Organisation

The main location of the Summer School is Jerusalem, Israel. The program covers:

  • lectures by leading international legal academics from Israeli and American universities
  • on-site visits / excursions including: “East” and “West” Jerusalem, the ‘security barrier’, and the “West Bank”
  • presentations on the historical, military, religious and geo-political context of the conflict
  • meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to present both sides of the dispute
  • dialogue with young Jews and Arabs
  • seminars on the International Rule of Law and conflict resolution.

The program will be led by the following international law experts and tutors:

  • Dr. Matthijs de Blois – Assistant Professor Emeritus, University of Utrecht
  • Prof. Dr. Li-ann Thio – Professor of International Law, National University of Singapore
  • Andrew Tucker – Director, The Hague Initiative for International Co-operation.

Program outline

Wednesday 26 June – Friday 28 June: lectures and excursion

Saturday 29 June: off day (free, optional excursion)

Sunday 30 June – Friday 5 July: lectures and excursions.

Evenings will be free to explore Jerusalem.

Study materials

Students will receive study materials prior to the Summer School.


INDICATIVE PRICE: (includes accommodation, breakfast, travel in Israel and all teaching materials; excludes: lunch, dinner, flights to/from Israel) – US$2400.

Sponsorship programs are available for students from defined regions, e.g. Singapore.

thinc. endeavors to establish a Summer School 2019 fund to cover (part of) the costs of the Summer School and the individual costs of traveling to/from Israel.





If you would want to sponsor the Summer School 2019, please, contact Pieter Hoogendoorn via p.hoogendoorn@thinc.info.

You can also make an online donation with your Visa, MC or American Express credit card, or through your PayPal account via the below Donate button. We are grateful for all donations – big and small.