Naval Blockade

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Naval Blockade


in international law, a system of measures undertaken during armed conflict. Its aim is to preclude the enemy’s access to a seacoast so that the enemy will be forced to relinquish the use of its own or occupied ports, naval bases, and shores with adjacent seawaters for commercial and all other maritime relations with other states. By declaring a naval blockade, the belligerent states attempt to cut off the maritime communications of a hostile state in order to weaken the enemy’s economic resources to the maximum and deprive it of the possibility of trading with neutral countries.

A naval blockade is not merely a particular method of struggle between belligerent parties; it is also a military measure that infringes upon the interests of nonbelligerent states insofar as its implementation obstructs the maintenance of communications with the blockaded region, and all attempts by ships to pass through to the blockaded point may end in their seizure by the blockading party.

Naval blockades are regulated by the rules of the declarations of Paris (1856) and London (1909) and by the customary norms of international law. In accordance with the Declaration of London of 1909, when a blockade is declared the date when it begins, the geographical boundaries of the blockaded shore, and the period of time in which neutral vessels are to leave blockaded ports must be indicated. Neutral states are to be notified of the declaration of a naval blockade through diplomatic channels.

In international law there is also the concept of a naval blockade carried out in peacetime as an enforcement action against a state that has violated norms of international law.

The UN Charter provides for a naval blockade as a possible collective measure to reestablish and maintain international peace and security; it is undertaken by decision of the UN Security Council. In all other cases, an armed blockade carried out first by one state against another is to be regarded as an act of armed aggression. According to the definition of aggression proposed by the USSR and confirmed in the Conferences of London of 1933, the state that first establishes a naval blockade of the shores or ports of another state must be recognized as the attacking party.

The norms of international law on blockades mentioned above have been grossly and repeatedly violated by the imperialist states. For example, in October 1962 the US Navy was ordered to intercept all ships bound for Cuba, subject them to examination, and prevent the passage of any vessel with arms defined as offensive by the American authorities. These actions by the USA constituted a gross defiance of the norms of international law and, in particular, the principles of the UN Charter. Waging an aggressive war in Vietnam, the USA organized so-called patrolling by the warships of the American Seventh Fleet in the South China Sea—that is, an illegal naval blockade of the shores of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was, in effect, set up.


References in periodicals archive ?
A strong naval blockade may be the best chance to break the cycle in which he initiates action, and the US and its allies simply respond.
Although the blame for the tic-for-tac military operations could not be placed with certainty, the rocket attacks from Gaza re-enforced Israel's need for a naval blockade.
humanitarian aspects to the law of naval blockade, but only as far
7) If Palestinian deaths had also registered, it would perhaps have been "obvious enough" that Hamas also had a right to impose a naval blockade on Israel in order to protect the people of Gaza and defend their territory.
More than 5,000 were fired between 2005 and January 2009, when the naval blockade was imposed.
To avoid a repeat of similar incidents in the future, the panel recommended that all States should act with prudence and caution in relation to the imposition and enforcement of a naval blockade; the established norms of customary international law must be respected and complied with by all relevant parties; states maintaining a naval blockade must abide by their obligations with respect to the provision of humanitarian assistance; states enforcing a naval blockade against non-military vessels, especially where large numbers of civilian passengers are involved, should be cautious in the use of force.
Turkey had argued that the naval blockade was illegal and that Israel had no right to stop the ships in international waters.
Netanyahu further explained that the reason the Israeli forces have imposed a naval blockade of Gaza is that the potential quantity of arms that can be supplied by sea would take months to be supplied by land.
Perry made note of media reports suggesting that "violent anti-Israel organizations" are planning to disrupt Israel's naval blockade "as early as this week.
Israel has made clear it will enforce a naval blockade it says is aimed at stopping more weaponry from reaching Hamas, an Islamist group shunned by the West over its refusal to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing peace deals.
Relations hitan all-time low in May, when Israeli naval commandos killed nine activists from Turkey on board an aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip that tried to breach Israel's naval blockade of the region.
They said we were approaching an area under naval blockade and told us to change course," Shapira told AFP by satellite telephone, saying the boat was about 20 miles from the Gaza coast.

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