Israel Further Blocks Gaza Aid Despite UN Court Order: Rights Groups

Mon Feb 26 2024
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JERUSALEM: Two human rights organizations have accused Israel of further restricting humanitarian aid into Gaza, defying a recent order from the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Exactly one month ago, the ICJ in The Hague ruled that Israel must take all necessary measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and ensure immediate and effective aid provision. However, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have reported that Israeli authorities have failed to comply with the ruling, with the number of aid trucks entering Gaza decreasing by approximately one-third since the decision.

Omar Shakir, HRW’s Israel and Palestine director, condemned Israel’s actions, stating that the government’s failure to comply with the ICJ’s ruling is exacerbating the dire situation for Gaza’s 2.4 million Palestinians. He accused Israel of ignoring the court’s decision and intensifying repression, including further blocking lifesaving aid.

Israel’s Genocidal Actions in Gaza

Despite being legally binding, ICJ rulings lack enforcement mechanisms, allowing Israel to disregard the court’s orders with impunity.

The reduction in humanitarian aid entering Gaza has had severe consequences, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which reported a 50 percent decrease in aid compared to January. UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini attributed the decline to a lack of political will and the regular closure of border crossing points.

The accusations against Israel come amid preparations for a potential ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that such an invasion would severely impact aid operations in the region.

Meanwhile, the UN has requested the ICJ to provide an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

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