ICJ Orders Israel to Immediately Stop Rafah Offensive

Fri May 24 2024
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THE HAGUE: The United Nations top court on Friday ordered Israel to halt its military offensive in Gaza’s city of Rafah.

The International Court of Justice observed the humanitarian situation in Rafah has further deteriorated since the last court order in March. He added the humanitarian situation in Rafah is disastrous.

Nawaf Salam, the head of the International Court of Justice, observed that Israel must immediately cease its military offensive or any action in Rafah that may inflict conditions on the Palestinian group in Gaza leading to its physical destruction, in whole or in part. He remarked that ICJ is not convinced that Israel’s evacuation efforts in Gaza are sufficient.

The top court ordered Israel to take effective measures to ensure uninterrupted access to the Gaza Strip for any fact-finding mission, commission of inquiry, or investigative body mandated by the UN to investigate accusations of genocide.

Salam added that Israel’s provisional steps taken after the ICJ’s previous verdict on Gaza do not fully address outcomes from the changed situations.

The ICJ ordered Israel to report back to the court within one month on its progress in implementing the ordered steps and to open the Rafah border crossing for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The judge remarked that the current situation poses further risks of irreparable damage to the rights of the people in Gaza.

35,800 Palestinians Killed in Israeli Attacks

According to the Gaza health ministry, Israel’s relentless bombardment has killed at least 35,800 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

Israel has defended the necessity of its military offensive in Gaza at the ICJ and asked the court to throw out the request by South Africa to order it to stop operations in Rafah and withdraw from the Palestinian territory.

Israel’s Deputy Attorney General for International Law, Gilad Noam, argued that his country is fighting a war against Hamas and dismissed that genocide is being committed.

The rulings of the top UN court are binding but it has no power to enforce them.

Being one of the six organs of the United Nations, and located in The Hague, Netherlands, the ICJ is the only international court that adjudicates general disputes between nations, and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues.

Israeli troops launched their ground assault on parts of Rafah earlier this month, defying international opposition, including top ally the United States, which has expressed concern about more than a million civilians trapped in the city.

Israel ordered a mass evacuation of the city, vowing to eliminate Hamas’ tunnel network and its remaining fighters.

According to the UN, more than 800,000 people have fled.

South Africa urged the International Court of Justice to immediately stop Israel’s campaign, including in the southern area of Rafah, and facilitate humanitarian assistance access.

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