UN High Court calls for immediate halt to Rafah attack

As of: May 24, 2024 7:06 PM

According to the International Court of Justice, Israel must immediately stop its attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The humanitarian situation in the city is “disastrous”. This is likely to increase global pressure on Israel.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has called for an immediate end to Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah. The Court therefore granted South Africa’s urgent application in part.

Nawab Salam, president of the court, said the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate. In Rafah it is now a “catastrophe”. A military offensive could contribute to living conditions “leading to the total or partial destruction” of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

ICJ: Risk of Genocide Credible

The court found that Israel had failed to adequately demonstrate that the safety of the population was ensured during the evacuation of Rafah and that the 800,000 Palestinians affected were provided with essential resources such as water, food, medicine and shelter.

The ICJ reasoned that it did not call for a ceasefire for the entire Gaza Strip based on Israel’s right to self-defense. Nevertheless, the risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip is “credible,” the judge said. In response to the judge’s ruling, the court requested a written statement from Israel by June 24.

Israel did not want to follow this order

According to media reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to discuss the ICJ’s decision with some of his most important ministers. Already there is initial criticism from their teams. For example, Finance Minister Bezalel Smodrich explained that anyone who calls on Israel to end the war is calling on the country to end its existence. Israel will not agree to this.

See also  Controversial "Suburban Girl": Actress Nina Broll turns 50

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz announced that Israel would continue its “just and necessary” war against Hamas terrorists and to return the hostages. The country will adhere to international law and protect civilians as much as possible.

The government has already signaled in advance that it will not comply with an order of the International Court of Justice like the one issued now. “No power in the world will prevent Israel from protecting its citizens and taking action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” government spokesman Avi Hyman said Thursday.

Judgments of the World Court are binding. However, UN judges do not have the power to compel a government to implement it. Russia, for example, is still ignoring a 2022 decision to end its attack on neighboring Ukraine. However, the UN The judges may call on the UN Security Council to take action on the matter.

Borrell: The EU must decide now

EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said the EU must decide now. “We must choose between our support for international institutions of law or our support for Israel.”

Militant Islamist Hamas welcomed the decision, but said it did not go far enough. Israel must stop all attacks. In a statement, he asked the international community and the UN to put pressure on Israel. A member of the Hamas political committee insisted that the court’s ruling would have no effect without international pressure.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank said the ruling represented an “international consensus” that the fighting in Gaza should end.

See also  The cases against Julius Meinl and Peter Weinziel were dropped

South Africa: “Order is fantastic”

South Africa called the order “fundamental”. “This is the first time that Israel has been openly asked to stop its military operations in any part of the Gaza Strip. This is actually a call for a ceasefire,” said Jane Tangor, Director General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

South Africa appealed to the court and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the entire Gaza Strip, including troops in Rafah. The country has already repeatedly called for urgent action against Israel. It comes as part of a genocide case the country filed in court in December. In two decisions, UN judges have already forced Israel to do everything possible to prevent genocide and allow humanitarian aid.

Israel denies the allegations

Israel has dismissed allegations of genocide in the Gaza Strip as baseless in the International Court of Justice. The country claimed its right to self-defense after terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and abducting more than 250 others in the Gaza Strip.

Since early May, Israel’s military says it has been conducting “targeted” operations in Rafah, seeking to find and destroy the last remaining Hamas battalions there. According to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry, which cannot be independently verified, Israeli strikes have so far killed a total of more than 35,400 people in the Gaza Strip.

More reviews and arrest warrants

Criticism of Israel’s conduct of the war has increased recently. Even America’s closest ally warned Prime Minister Netanyahu against a large-scale attack on Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people have taken refuge from fighting in other parts of the Gaza Strip. After almost eight months of fighting, Rafah is a partially intact town in the Gaza Strip.

See also  Schilling: Wogenhuber criticizes the Greens - wien.ORF.at

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) sought arrest warrants for crimes against humanity against Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Galant, and three leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas. Like the ICJ, the ICC sits in The Hague.

With information from Ludger Kazmierczak, WDR

Ludger Kazmierczak, WDR, tagesschau, May 24, 2024 at 4:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *