International Court of Justice: Israel must stop offensive

International Court of Justice: Israel must stop offensive

The situation in the Gaza Strip is becoming increasingly desperate.

In the dispute over the Israeli offensive in Rafah, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled in South Africa’s favor. The court ruled that Israel must stop the offensive in the city in the south of the Gaza Strip. South Africa filed an urgent application to this effect on May 10. The country argues that the aim is to prevent a genocide against Palestinians.

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The court justified its decision by saying that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip had continued to deteriorate. In Rafah, it had become “catastrophic”. It was “not convinced that the evacuation efforts” for the civilian population in Gaza were sufficient to reduce “the immense risk” to the Palestinians due to the offensive in Rafah. In addition to halting the Rafah offensive, the court ordered Israel to submit a report within one month on the progress made in implementing the measures ordered by the ICJ.

  • ZIB: ICJ: Israel must stop Rafah offensive “immediately”

There was no immediate reaction from Israel. However, the government in Jerusalem had always declared that “no power in the world” would stop it from protecting its own citizens and taking action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “We are not storming Rafah, but we are proceeding carefully and precisely,” said Israel’s army spokesman Daniel Hagari about the offensive that began in May despite international warnings.

  • More on the subject: “More than 180 terrorists eliminated” – Israel’s army continues to advance in Rafah

South Africa’s original lawsuit against Israel dates back to December and accuses the country of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip. In an urgent motion, South Africa demanded, among other things, an immediate cessation of all hostilities. The judges did not follow this at the time, but they ordered the protection of the civilian population and called on Israel to allow more humanitarian aid into the country. In mid-February and late March, the court repeated similar demands.

  • ZIB: ORF correspondent Tim Cupal reports from Israel: Israel will continue offensive”

Decisions of the World Court are binding. However, the UN judges have no power to force a state to implement them. They can, however, call on the UN Security Council to take action on the matter. A resolution calling for sanctions against Israel could be put to a vote there – but this would probably fail due to a veto by the USA.

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For Israel, this is already the second defeat in court within a week: On Monday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, a body separate from the ICJ, requested the issuance of arrest warrants against Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant.

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