Israel must halt military operation in Rafah: ICJ

NETHERLANDS   -    The United Nations’ top court Friday ordered Israel to halt its military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. “Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah Governorate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” said Judge Nawaf Salam, president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The court, which sits in The Hague, the Netherlands, made the ruling on Friday as part of the ongoing genocide case brought by South Africa.

In its ruling, the court said that the humanitarian situation in Gaza had deteriorated “even further” since the court last ordered provisional measures in March.

“The humanitarian situation is now to be characterized as disastrous,” Salam said.

The court noted that around 800,000 Palestinians had been displaced from Rafah as of May 18, after Israel began its military offensive on May 7.

Israel had warned civilians in parts of the city to evacuate ahead of its operation, but the court said these efforts were not “sufficient to alleviate the immense risk to which the Palestinian population is exposed as a result” of Israel’s incursion.

A total of 35,857 Palestinians have been killed and 80,293 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive against Hamas in Gaza since October 7, the Gaza health ministry, run by the terror group, says in a statement

These figures have not be verified and only some 25,000 fatalities have been identified at hospitals. The tolls include some 15,000 terror operatives Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

Israel’s National Security Council and Foreign Ministry issue a joint statement responding to the International Court of Justice’s ruling ordering Israel to halt Rafah operations that risk the destruction of the civilian population in the southern Gaza city.

The Israeli statement says the charges of genocide brought by South Africa against Israel at the ICJ in The Hague are “false, outrageous and morally repugnant.”

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