Can International Law Protect Gaza?

As Israel extends its bombardment of Gaza into Rafah – a supposed safe zone where 1.7 million Palestinians are seeking refuge – the limits of the “laws” of war seem horribly apparent.

Following South Africa’s partially successful case against Israel at the ICJ last month, legal scholar Rob Knox joins Eleanor Penny to offer an urgent account of the logic and limitations of international law.

What makes a war legal – or illegal? Why do powerful states bother with international law? How does the language of humanitarianism end up producing violence? And can international courts do anything to protect the people of Gaza?

Rob Knox is a senior lecturer in law at the University of Liverpool and a member of the editorial boards of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory and the London Review of International Law.

Photograph by ICJ/Jeroen Bouman.

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