Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-jb2ch Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-25T14:01:05.003Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

International Court of Justice Firmly Walled in the Law of Power in the Israeli–Palestinian Peace Process

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2005


The impartial and nearly unanimous advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in the Wall case put the role of politics and diplomacy in the settlement of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in its proper place, within the context of the rule of law. The significance of the opinion goes far beyond the illegality of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The Court wisely and courageously seized the opportunity of its first direct involvement in the conflict to speak in plain legal terms about the tricky political problems that have ruined the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. It ascertained the present responsibility of the United Nations to protect Palestine's statehood. It affirmed the applicability of the prohibition of acquisition of Palestinian territory by Israel and confirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the OPT. Moreover, the existence of the Palestinian people as the rightful claimant to the OPT is no longer open to question. One may only regret that the UN was not able to ask the Court to throw light on the Palestinian question at a much earlier stage.

HAGUE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS: International Court of Justice
© 2005 Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)