Will Israel Obey the ICJ’s Order to Stop Military Attacks on Rafah?

Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday, May 24 2024 ordered the Israeli Zionist Occupation to immediately stop its military attacks on Rafah City, southern Gaza Strip.

A total of 15 judges at the ICJ assessed that Israel’s military attacks pose a big risk and endanger the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

“Israel must immediately stop its military attacks or any other actions in the Rafah area that could impact the Palestinian groups in Gaza, living conditions that could lead to physical destruction in whole or in part,” said ICJ Chief Judge Nawaf Salam.

The order was read by Salam for additional interim measures requested by South Africa in the ongoing genocide case against Israel.

The UN High Court based in The Hague, Netherlands said the change to the order from the one issued on March 28, 2024, took into account changes in circumstances resulting from the attack on Rafah, where Palestinian refugees had taken refuge.

The decision said that Israel had not sufficiently addressed and eliminated concerns arising from its military operation in Rafah.

The ICJ also asked Israel to keep the Rafah border open for unimpeded access to basic services and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Israel was also ordered to submit a report on actions taken under the latest order within a month.

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Not only does it put pressure on Israel, but also the ICJ’s decision also demands the immediate release of all hostages still being held by the Hamas militia.

Although the order is legally binding, this court does not have the apparatus to enforce it.

UN Secretary General Says ICJ Decision is “Binding”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asserted that the ruling of the International Court of Justice was “binding” after the top UN court ordered Israel to immediately halt its military operations in Rafah.

Guterres also reminded that the ICJ ruling must be obeyed by the parties concerned.

“The court’s decision is binding and we trust that the parties will comply with the court’s order,” Guterres stressed in a statement via his spokesman.

Palestine Expects Israel to Comply with ICJ Orders

The Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour praised the International Court of Justice ruling ordering Israel to halt military operations in Rafah and called on Israel to immediately comply with the decision.

“We welcome these temporary measures including stopping military operations in Rafah,” Riyad Mansour told reporters at UN headquarters in New York, United States.

Mansour said that this order must be carried out.

“We hope that the ICJ resolution will be implemented without hesitation. It is mandatory. And Israel is a party to the convention,” he said

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Hamas Praises ICJ Decision

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas lauded the ruling of the International Court in ordering Israel to immediately halt its attacks on Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.

However, Hamas criticized the ICJ’s ruling which excluded other areas of the Gaza Strip which were also battlegrounds.

Hamas hopes that the ICJ’s decision can end aggression and genocide against the Palestinian people throughout the Gaza Strip and not just in Rafah.

“What happened in Jabalia (an area in the northern Gaza Strip) and other areas in the (northern) sector are equally criminal acts and as dangerous as what happened in Rafah,” Hamas said in its statement.

Israel’s response

Instead of complying with the ICJ’s order, the Israeli Zionist government strongly opposed the decision and was determined to continue the war until its goal was achieved, namely freeing the hostages and eliminating Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that accusations of genocide in Gaza are false, outrageous and morally repugnant. He claims the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 35,800 people, is legitimate. Even the prime minister’s office said its actions were in accordance with international law.

“Israel acted based on its right to defend its territory and citizens, consistent with its moral values ​​and in accordance with international law,” he said, in a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.

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He further added that the operation in Rafah was carried out appropriately, not affecting the living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.

Apart from that, Minister of Internal Security Itamar Ben Gvir also firmly rejected the decision.

“Our future depends not on what non-Jews say, but on what Jews do,” he said, on social media platform X.

Israel Continues to Attack Rafah

Even though the ICJ has ordered Israel to stop attacks, the Zionist army continues to increase its military aggression in Gaza with planes bombing targets in the city of Rafah.

Palestinian residents and media reported a series of Israeli strikes hitting streets and houses in the Shaboura neighborhood of central Rafah, shortly after the ICJ decision was read.

Israeli tanks on Friday also destroyed a local market and bulldozers continued to raze shops and property in the narrow alleys of Jabalia, northern Gaza.

Hamas’ armed wing said its fighters had attacked three Israeli tanks in the area.

Tanks also moved closer to the nearby Kamal Adwan Hospital. Medics said Israeli fire had caused a halt in operations at the last functioning medical facility in the northern Gaza Strip. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)