May 24, 2024, 9:34 PM
Journalist ID: 1852
News ID: 85488015
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World court orders Israel to 'immediately halt' Rafah offensive

May 24, 2024, 9:34 PM
News ID: 85488015
World court orders Israel to 'immediately halt' Rafah offensive

Tehran, IRNA - The International Court of Justice, the top United Nations court, has ordered Israel to halt its offensive in Gaza’s southern 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," the ICJ said on Friday.

In early May, Israel carried out ground incursions into the refugee-packed city of Rafah in defiance of global warnings, forcing more than 800,000 people “to flee”, according to UN figures.

The ICJ, widely known as the world court, also ordered the Israeli regime to open the Rafah crossing to ensure the "unhindered" access of humanitarian aid.

Israel must "maintain open the Rafah crossing for unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance," the court added in the landmark ruling.

The ruling came as South Africa last week asked the ICJ to order a halt to the war in Gaza, and in Rafah in particular.

South Africa filed a genocide case against Israel in December 2023 over its war on the Gaza Strip.

According to South Africa’s application, Israel's actions in Gaza were "genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group."

The ICJ’s final ruling on the broader South African case may take months if not years to rule, but the court can order urgent measures while weighing its decision.

In January, the ICJ, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, issued an interim ruling, ordering the occupying regime to take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza, but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.

On March 6, South Africa returned to the court, requesting additional provisional measures against Israel in light of reports of widespread starvation.

Later in March, the court ordered Israel to take "all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.”


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