Monday, June 17, 2024

International Court of Justice demands Israel to cease Rafah offensive | Global News

International Court of Justice Orders Israel to Halt Military Offensive in Rafah, Open Rafah Crossing for Aid

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued a groundbreaking order for Israel to stop its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The court emphasized the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Rafah and called for an immediate halt to Israel’s actions that could lead to the “physical destruction” of the Palestinian population in Gaza.

This verdict came in response to an emergency request from South Africa, which accused Israel of genocide against Palestinians. The ICJ’s president, Nawaf Salam, made it clear that Israel must cease its military operations in Rafah and open the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid and investigators’ access.

Despite the ruling being final and binding, Israel is unlikely to comply as it views its actions in Gaza as self-defense against Hamas fighters. Israeli officials have vehemently denied allegations of genocide and defended their offensive as necessary to root out remaining Hamas fighters in Rafah.

In response to the ICJ’s order, South Africa welcomed the decision as a significant step towards halting Israel’s military actions in Gaza. However, Hamas officials stated that the ruling was insufficient, urging the UN Security Council to enforce the ICJ’s demand on Israel.

The US, Israel’s ally, has expressed concerns over the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and has threatened to reduce support. Israel’s assault on Rafah has forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee, exacerbating the already dire conditions for the population.

Additionally, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has filed for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of crimes including extermination and targeting civilians. Israel has denied these charges and maintained its stance on the necessity of its military operations in Gaza.

The ICJ’s order marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing conflict in the region, raising questions about international law, humanitarian efforts, and the future of Gaza’s population amidst escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine.

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