Israel 'at risk of sanctions' if it ignores UNSC Gaza ceasefire resolution

Israel 'at risk of sanctions' if it ignores UNSC Gaza ceasefire resolution
International law experts warn that if Israel ignores the UN Gaza ceasefire resolution, countries could individually sanction it.
2 min read
27 March, 2024
The UN Security Council voted for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the month of Ramada [Getty]

Israeli international law experts have warned that Israel could face sanctions if it ignores a UN Security Council's (UNSC) resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Haaretz  reported on Tuesday.

The UNSC resolution passed on Monday lacks a mechanism for implementing sanctions on Israel without another vote, which would almost certainly face a US veto. However, experts warn that individual countries could use the resolution as a means to enact their own sanctions on Israel.

"Countries, not the Security Council, imposed sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, including cutting off economic relations, aviation connections, and isolation from the banking system," Dr. Tamar Hostovsky Brandes of Israel’s Ono Academic college said.

"The decision taken in the UN Security Council, the orders given by the International Court of Justice against Israel, and the advisory opinion to be published by the Court in The Hague regarding the legal consequences of Israel’s actions in the Palestinian territories, all these create the image of a state that does not respect international law."

Professor Eliav Lieblich from Tel Aviv University said that if Israel does not comply with the UNSC decision, it will be further isolated from the international community.

"Failure to comply with the decision will prompt other countries to consider imposing sanctions on Israel, for example, stopping arms transfers to Israel," Lieblich said. 

However, Roy Schondorf, former Israeli Deputy Attorney General for International Law at the Ministry of Justice, said the entire issue on the international stage was “political" and does not indicate a significant change among Israel's Western allies

"If countries wanted to, they could take action against Israel, just as they could have done before the decision," Schondorf said.

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The UN Security Council resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip during Ramadan, after 14 countries voted in favour of it.

The US abstained, marking a shift in its policy of thwarting ceasefire resolutions at the UN since the beginning of Israel's current war on Gaza.

The resolution also demanded "the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages", as well as ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid, medical supplies and other humanitarian needs to Gaza.

Israel’s war and siege on Gaza has killed over 32,000 people and has left vast swathes of the enclave unliveable, with famine now looming over the Palestinian territory.