After ICJ Decision, White House Syas Position on Rafah “Clear and Consistent”

Washington, MINA – The White House ended its silence Friday after the UN’s top court ordered Israel to halt its ongoing invasion of the southern Gazan city of Rafah, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We’ve been clear and consistent on our position on Rafah,” a National Security Council spokesperson told Anadolu on condition of anonymity.

The White House has so far said Israel’s military operations in Rafah have been “limited,” and have not crossed the threshold for the wide-scale actions that US President Joe Biden has said would prompt him to stop supplying bombs and artillery for Israel’s operations in Gaza.

The White House’s brief comment is the first reaction from the Biden administration in the wake of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling that ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its invasion of Rafah due to the “immediate risk” to Palestinian civilians.

The Court also ordered Israel to open the Rafah border crossing, provide “unimpeded access” to investigators looking into allegations of genocide and report on the progress within one month.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized, after the decision came down, that the ICJ’s rulings “are binding, and he trusts that the parties will duly comply with the order from the court,” his spokesperson said.

While the ruling was welcomed by many countries in the world, including South Africa which filed the genocide case against Israel at the ICJ, Israel immediately slammed the decision. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to discuss the decision with senior ministers on Friday by telephone, according to media reports.

More than 35,800 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip during the over seven-month war. A Hamas-led cross-border attack that precipitated the current conflict led to less than 1,200 deaths with hundreds of others taken back to Gaza as hostages.

Israel’s invasion has leveled most of the territory and created a humanitarian crisis. Despite concerns about the safety of civilians, Israeli forces invaded Rafah on May 6, where more than 1 million Palestinians had taken refuge. Since the assault, at least 800,000 people have fled the city. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)