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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

ICJ Orders Israel to Halt Rafah Offensive in Gaza


Fri 24 May 2024 | 08:17 PM
Judges of the International Court of Justice during today’s session (AFP)
Judges of the International Court of Justice during today’s session (AFP)
Taarek Refaat

The International Court of Justice ICJ issued on Friday an order calling on Israel to immediately halt its military attack and any other action in Rafah, in a historic ruling that is likely to increase international pressure on the Jewish state after more than seven months of war in Gaza.

The court also urged the immediate release of the hostages taken by Hamas during its attack on Israel on October 7. “The court finds it deeply disturbing that many of these hostages are still being held, and reiterates its call for their immediate and unconditional release,” the court said.

The court indicated that the humanitarian situation in Rafah is “catastrophic,” and that it has worsened since the order it issued earlier when it called on Israel to take temporary measures regarding the repercussions of the war in the Gaza Strip.

The court indicated that Israel must submit a report to the court within a month regarding the measures it took based on the recent order.

The ICJ issued this order based on the application submitted by South Africa on 10 May for additional interim measures and to amend the previous interim measures in the case South Africa v. Israel.

The Israeli website Ynet said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to hold urgent consultations with the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice, and other government ministers to respond to the decision of the International Court of Justice to stop the attack on Rafah.

The website quoted Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir as saying in response to the court’s decision, “The only response to the insignificant decision issued by the 'anti-Semitic court' must be to occupy Rafah, increase military pressure, and crush Hamas until complete victory is achieved in the war".

On its part, the Hamas movement welcomed the court’s decision, and said in a statement, “We welcome ... the decision of the International Court of Justice today demanding that the criminal Zionist entity stop its aggression against the city of Rafah immediately,” adding that it had expected“ to issue a decision to stop the aggression and genocide against our people in the entire Gaza Strip, not just in Rafah.”