Skip to content

ICJ orders Israel ‘to immediately halt’ Rafah offensive

  • by

(Al Jazeera, BBC and Washington Post) The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Israel must halt its military offensive in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. This decision came after South Africa requested the ICJ to intervene as an emergency measure, arguing that Israel’s actions in Rafah amount to a “genocidal” operation threatening the survival of the Palestinian people. This request is part of a larger case South Africa has brought against Israel concerning its actions in Gaza.

Israel, however, has stated that the Rafah offensive is crucial for defeating Hamas in the aftermath of the attacks on October 7 and has called South Africa’s case “wholly unfounded.” Despite the ICJ being the top UN court capable of making legally binding rulings in disputes between countries, it has limited means of enforcing its orders.

Palestinians sit by the rubble of a family house that was hit overnight in an Israeli bombardment in the Tal as-Sultan neighbourhood of Rafah in southern Gaza (AFP)

The humanitarian situation in Rafah has been described as “disastrous,” with over 900,000 Palestinians displaced within two weeks, lacking essential shelter, food, water, and medicine. The medical director of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital reported a critical shortage of fuel for generators, warning that without electricity, patients would face certain death. Israeli tanks and troops have been advancing towards Rafah’s densely populated western district from the southeast.

Since October 7, Israeli attacks on Gaza have resulted in the deaths of at least 35,800 people and injuries to 80,011 others. In Israel, the death toll from Hamas’s October 7 attack has been revised to 1,139, with dozens of people still held captive.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.