World Court Orders Israel to Halt Rafah Offensive
World Court Orders Israel to Halt Rafah Offensive

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued a ruling ordering Israel to immediately cease its military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The court expressed deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Rafah, calling it "disastrous" for the besieged Palestinian territory.

The ICJ's decision came in response to an emergency request from South Africa, which urged the court to intervene and halt Israel's assault on Rafah. ICJ President Nawaf Salam, speaking from The Hague, stated, "The state of Israel shall immediately halt its military offensive and any other actions in the Rafah governorate that could lead to the physical destruction of the Palestinian population."

In addition to stopping the military offensive, the court ordered Israel to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza to allow humanitarian aid to enter. Israel is also required to grant access to investigators and report on its progress within a month.

The ruling followed South Africa's formal accusation in January that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, a charge Israel vehemently denies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office described the accusations as "false, outrageous, and disgusting," maintaining that its military operations in Gaza are aimed at self-defense and targeting Hamas fighters.

Israel launched its offensive in Rafah recently, prompting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee the city, which had become a refuge for around half of Gaza's 2.3 million residents.

The ICJ, the highest UN body for hearing disputes between states, issued the ruling by a 13-2 vote, with judges from Uganda and Israel opposing. However, the court lacks enforcement powers, and Israel has indicated it will not comply with the order.

Responding to the ruling, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich stated, "Those who demand that the State of Israel stop the war, demand that it decree itself to cease to exist. We will not agree to that. If we lay down our weapons, the enemy will reach the beds of our children and women throughout the country."

South Africa welcomed the ICJ's decision as "ground-breaking," noting that it marks the first explicit demand for Israel to halt military action in any part of Gaza.

This version aims to simplify and clarify the original text, making it more accessible and readable.

Israel Recovers Bodies of Three Hostages from Gaza

Israel Releases New Footage of Women Captured on October 7; Hamas Disputes Authenticity

Norway Recognizes Palestine as a State, Ireland and Spain to Follow

Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News