UN court orders Israel to suspend its Rafah onslaught in the Gaza War, but no truce is declared.


UN court orders Israel to suspend its Rafah onslaught in the Gaza War, but no truce is declared.

In a landmark emergency ruling on South Africa’s genocide claim against Israel, judges at the UN’s highest court ordered Israel to halt its military attack on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, on Friday.

The International Court of Justice’s president, Nawaf Salam, declared that the circumstances in the Palestinian enclave have gotten worse since the court’s earlier ruling ordering Israel to take measures to improve the situation. Everything required for a new emergency order to be in order.

“Israel must immediately cease its military campaign and any other actions in the Rafah governorate that could subject the Palestinian community in Gaza to living conditions that could result in their complete or partial physical destruction,” he declared.

UN court orders Israel
Nawaf Salam, the president of the International Court of Justice, stated that since the court’s previous decision for Israel to take action to ameliorate the situation in the Palestinian enclave, the situation there has gotten worse. Everything needed to be in place for a fresh emergency order

Furthermore, the court directed Israel to permit investigators to enter the beleaguered enclave, open the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and Gaza, and submit a progress report to the court no later than one month from now.

The order was approved 13-2 by the panel of 15 judges from throughout the world, with the exception of justices from Israel and Uganda.

It was approved a week after South Africa asked for it in relation to a case accusing Israel of genocide.

The ICJ is the supreme U.N. authority that decides disputes between nations. Even if its rulings have been ignored in the past, they are nonetheless final and enforceable. But this UN court does not have the power or means to enforce its decision.

Also: ICJ ruling requesting Israel to cease Gaza offensive

One intriguing aspect of this specific case is that 13 judges, including Indian Dalveer Bhandari, are in favor of an immediate cessation of Israeli military activities.

There was a small gathering of pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside who were chanting “Palestine must be free” and brandishing flags and boom boxes.

Israel, which has argued in court that its activities in Gaza constitute self-defense and targeted at Hamas members who attacked Israel on October 7, has continuously denied allegations of genocide in the case.

On the eve of Friday’s decision, an Israeli cabinet representative claimed that “no power on Earth will stop Israel from protecting its citizens and going after Hamas in Gaza.”

Israel launched its assault on the southern city of Rafah this month, forcing thousands of Palestinians to flee their place of refuge, where over half of the city’s 2.3 million inhabitants had taken refuge.

The Israeli attack, according to international groups, has walled off the enclave and raised the possibility of hunger. Situated on Gaza’s southern border, Rafah has functioned as the main entry point for supplies into Gaza.

Last Monday, attorneys for South Africa asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare emergency conditions, claiming that Israel’s attacks on Rafah must halt for the Palestinian people to continue existing.

The administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may face more diplomatic pressure in the event of a verdict against Israel.

The International Criminal Court, another court in The Hague, announced on Monday that its chief prosecutor had filed a request for arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, and Hamas commanders.

Prosecutor Karim Khan accused Netanyahu and Gallant of crimes like extermination, deliberate targeting of civilians, and weaponization of hunger. Israel fiercely denied the charges and urged allies to reject the court.

In South Africa’s broader case before the ICJ, Israel is accused of plotting a state-led genocide against the Palestinian people. Israel’s plea to have the case dismissed by the ICJ has been denied, notwithstanding the possibility that the court will take years to rule on the validity of that accusation.

In previous rulings, the court directed Israel to cease its acts of genocide against the Palestinian people and to allow humanitarian supplies to reach Gaza, but it declined to compel a halt to Israeli military operations.

Israel launched an air and military attack on Gaza after militants led by Hamas invaded villages in southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and capturing over 250 others, according to Israeli estimates. Since then, over 35,000 Palestinians have lost their lives as a result of the offensive, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

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