Monday, June 17, 2024

United Nations’ highest judicial body demands Israel to cease military actions in southern Gaza city of Rafah

International Court of Justice Orders Israel to Halt Military Offensive in Gaza and Release Hostages

The International Court of Justice has issued a ruling ordering Israel to halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and to grant access to U.N. investigators to probe allegations of genocide. The court also demanded the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas.

Despite the ruling, enforcement mechanisms are lacking, and an immediate cease-fire is not expected. Russia has similarly disregarded ICJ orders regarding its actions in Ukraine.

This ruling came as part of South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, with Israel refuting the allegations. The case is expected to be drawn out, but South Africa sought the cease-fire to protect Palestinian lives amid the ongoing conflict that has taken thousands of Palestinian lives and caused a humanitarian crisis.

In a joint statement, Israel’s Foreign Ministry and chief of staff for national security denounced the accusation of genocide as false and expressed commitment to providing humanitarian aid while pursuing military actions against Hamas.

International pressure is mounting on Israel, with an ICC prosecutor also seeking arrest warrants for top Israeli and Hamas leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed the country’s resolve to defend itself against threats of destruction.

Shortly after the ICJ’s ruling, reports emerged of airstrikes hitting the Rafah area, underscoring the ongoing tensions and violence in the region.

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