Israel declares state of war over Hamas attacks News
IDF Spokesperson's Unit, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Common
Israel declares state of war over Hamas attacks

Israel’s Security Cabinet declared a state of war on Sunday. The Israeli Prime Minister’s (PM) office made the declaration public, stating that the war “was imposed on the State of Israel through a murderous terrorist attack from the Gaza Strip.”

Article 40 of the Basic Laws of Israel: The Government (2001) allowed the declaration to be made. According to the provision, “[t]he state may only begin a war pursuant to a Government decision.” The Security Cabinet functions as a part of the executive branch of government and was therefore eligible to make the decision. Pursuant to the state of war, Israel may now engage in “significant military operations.” Shortly after the declaration, the Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant stated on X that he ordered a “complete siege on Gaza.”

The Israeli declaration of war varies from that of many democracies. In the US, Congress holds the power to declare war under Article I of the US constitution. Per Article 35 of the French constitution, the country may only authorize a war by a majority vote of parliament. However, some countries such as the UK allow executive declarations similar to that of Israel. The Royal Prerogative doctrine states that the UK Prime Minister may declare war on behalf of the crown. Additionally, many countries allow for declarations of war in the event that they are attacked first. The Turkish president may call on the armed forces under Article 92 of the Turkish constitution “[i]f the country is subjected to sudden armed aggression.”