International Law Studies


The speech given by the Israeli Deputy Attorney General (International Law) at the Naval War College’s event on “Disruptive Technologies and International Law” sets out, for the first time, Israel’s position on the application of international law to cyber operations. Consistent with the position taken by the vast majority of States thus far, Israel considers that international law applies to such operations. The speech stresses that questions pertaining to the identification and application of relevant legal rules remain, given the profound differences between the cyber domain and traditional domains of warfare—land, sea, and air. Therefore, in Israel’s view, a cautious methodological approach is warranted when determining the applicable law. The speech provides Israel’s views on key questions concerning the application in cyberspace of jus ad bellum, and relevant concepts of jus in bello, particularly those of “attack” and “object.” It also addresses key questions concerning the application of other international legal rules and concepts that are pertinent to cyber operations: sovereignty, non-intervention, due-diligence, attribution and countermeasures.