Member of the Bar of England and Wales and a representative of Israel’s legal team, Christopher Staker, took to the stand on Friday to explain why Israel cannot suspend the military invasion of Gaza.
Staker argued that the provisional measures South Africa asked for were not to prevent a genocide in terms of the Genocide Convention but to stop Israel’s military operations, which he calls “unwarranted and prejudicial” to Israel.
According to Staker, it is “absurd” to suggest that the “only way to observe the Genocide Convention is to prevent the action to be conducted at all,” suggesting that stopping military actions is not the only possibility to prevent genocide and therefore there is no reason for the provisional measures.
“Provisional measures would prevent Israel from doing anything. Suspension of military activities would allow Hamas to commit more atrocities and use hostages as bargaining chips,” said Staker.
Staker added that it's “astonishing” for South Africa to ask for a ceasefire or a “unilateral stop from one party to the conflict, leaving the other free to continue”.
He also argued that the pictures that South Africa’s legal team showed on Thursday of military operations do not show a plausible intent of genocide.
Staker urged the Court to balance Israel's rights against the risk of irreparable prejudice.