Professor of International Relations at WITS University, John Stremlau, says South Africa’s compelling arguments at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) may not be enough to trump the political interests vested in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Stremlau’s remarks come after another tense day at the ICJ in The Hague, where Israel presented its response to South Africa’s genocide case against it.
Israel has argued that it is the true victim of genocide as Hamas has called for the wiping out of Jewish people.
Israel’s legal team says hostilities would end in Gaza if Hamas laid down its weapons.
The country further lambasted claims by human rights groups that it has blocked humanitarian aid from reaching Gazans.
In December, the international non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Watch, accused the Israeli government of starving civilians as a method of warfare.
However, the country’s lawyers say Tel Aviv’s numerous attempts at humanitarian intervention in the Gaza Strip have been ignored.
In the first part of its application, South Africa is asking the court to institute provisional measures for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
The court is expected to rule on whether these measures should be implemented in the next few weeks, while a final ruling on the case of genocide could take several years.
Stremlau says if the ICJ rules in South Africa’s favour, it won’t be easy for Israel to ignore the ruling.
Written by: Naomi Kobbie