ICJ orders Israel to stop Rafah military offensive


Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) voted 13 to 2 to order Israel to cease its attack on Rafah in southern Gaza.

The court stated that Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other actions in the Rafah governorate that could subject the Palestinian group in Gaza to conditions of life leading to their physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Lebanese judge Nawaf Salam emphasized that the “exceptionally grave” situation in Gaza warranted a new order, following South Africa’s request for emergency measures in its genocide case against Israel.

In a related development, Hamas hailed the UN top court’s ruling for Israel to immediately halt its Rafah offensive but criticised its decision to exclude the rest of Gaza from the order.

The Palestinian fighter group “welcomes the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)”, it said in a statement, adding however that it expected the ICJ ruling to “put an end to the aggression and genocide against our people throughout the Gaza Strip, and not just in Rafah”.

Also, South Africa welcomed an order by the International Court of Justice to Israel to halt its offensive in the Gaza city of Rafah and urged UN member states to back it.

“I believe it’s a much stronger, in terms of wording, set of provisional measures, very clear call for a cessation,” Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told the public broadcaster of his country.

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