Now, the court ruled, Palestinians happy, Israelis angry, Europeans welcomed, U.S brushed aside, so, what comes next?
Facts: The ruling is not binding. Any UN General Assembly resolution that can follow is as well not binding. It is hard, but not impossible for Security Council members to bluntly vote against the court ruling. The United States will strongly resist any attempt to bring the issue to the Security Council, and likely to use its Veto power, if presented against its well.
1) Issue to be diluted: Israel, under American influence, to stop the construction but refrain from dismantling already existing sections in exchange to an American commitment to delay any discussion around the wall, especially in the Security Council, until after the implementation of the disengagement plan. Such a scenario requires an active diplomacy in which Israel might be forced to deal, at least indirectly with the Palestinian Authority. Immediate consequence: Israel might accept to join the proposed ‘small quartet’ meeting scheduled for October in Washington.
2) Issue becomes negotiated: the Palestinian Authority to be pressured by both the United States and the European Union to negotiate the wall route with Israel. As Quartet members bluntly warned the PA against losing financial assistant over the security reforms issue, same warnings over arriving at a negotiated solution to the wall route might take place. A negotiated agreement on the wall route can help all parties by-pass the court ruling.
3) Ruling Dismissed: The United States uses its influence to block any further discussions in the United Nations, sending the court decision to the UN Archive shelves. Such a scenario would be very embarrassing to the United States.
4) Issue Used to Revive Road Map: The U.S. with pressure from the EU side to pressure Israel into removing its reservations over negotiating with the PA and come back to brokered bilateral negotiations. This scenario can become possible if Sharon decide to divorce Right wing partners and ally with Labor.
It is likely, under the current circumstances, that the starting point would be attempts to pressure the weaker, namely the Palestinian Authority.