The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its offensive in Rafah | Due to the risk of genocide against the Palestinian people

The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its offensive in Rafah | Due to the risk of genocide against the Palestinian people
The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its offensive in Rafah | Due to the risk of genocide against the Palestinian people

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) demanded that Israel “immediately stop” its military offensive in Rafahat the southern end of Loopand ordered him to “guarantee unimpeded access” to the Strip for “any mission” that seeks to investigate complaints of genocide against the Israeli authorities.

In a new order of precautionary measures to protect Palestinian rightsprotected as a group by the Genocide Convention, the ICJ urged Israel to “immediately stop its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governorate that may impose on the Palestinian group in Gaza living conditions that could cause its total or partial physical destruction.”

“Effective measures”

Furthermore, ordered “to take effective measures to ensure unimpeded access” to the entire Strip by “any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission or other investigative body.” under orders from one of the competent UN bodies “to investigate allegations of genocide.”

In addition, demanded the Israeli Government “keep open” the Rafah crossing for “the unimpeded and large-scale provision of basic services and urgently needed humanitarian assistance” among the Palestinian population of Gaza.

All these precautionary measures were voted on by a panel of 15 judges and approved with 13 votes in favor and two against.. The opposition was from Israeli judge Aharon Barak, appointed ‘ad hoc’ by Israel to have representation before the ICJ, as well as from Judge Julia Sebutinde, from Uganda, who has already voted against other decisions approved by a majority in this court in the context of the situation in Gaza.

Israel will have to present within a month a report with all the measures implemented to comply with the orders announced today by the court.

In addition to these new measures, the ICJ warned Israel that it must also implement the precautionary measures announced in January and March.or, which includes preventing its Army from committing acts of genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza and stopping “preventing” humanitarian aid access to the Strip.

Hostages

The UN court also requested the “immediate and unconditional release” of the kidnapped hostages by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the October 7 attack on Israeli soil and held since then in Gaza.

The highest UN court lacks its own specific means to enforce its decisions. However, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stressed on Friday that the rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are “binding” and must be respected. “The Court’s decisions are binding and it trusts that the parties will duly comply with the court’s order,” he said through his spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

Israel’s response

The Israeli government responded shortly after that its army “has not and will not carry out military operations in the Rafah area that create living conditions that could cause the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population, in whole or in part.”

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuheld a telephone consultation this Friday with several ministers of his government and with the “ombudsman” to address Israel’s response to the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered the military operation in Rafah to stop.

Hamas’s reaction

Hamas praised the court’s ruling, but said it Israel should cease its offensive throughout Gaza and not just in Rafah. “We expected the International Court of Justice to issue a decision to stop the aggression and genocide against our people throughout the Gaza Strip. “What is happening in Jabalia and other governorates of the Strip is no less criminal and dangerous than what is happening in Rafah,” he said in a statement.

In its note, the Islamist organization also asks the international community and the UN to “pressure” Israel to comply with the ruling adopted by the ICJ, which also includes the reopening of the Rafah border crossing, and entry “without impediments.” of humanitarian agencies to the Strip for the investigation of alleged war crimes.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed the court’s decision. “We call on the international community to force the occupying State to implement the decisions of the ICJ and to pressure it to respect and apply the decisions on the basis of international legitimacy and international law,” said the president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). ), which governs small areas of the occupied West Bank, but not in Gaza, where Hamas does.

South Africa accuses

The ICJ ruled this Friday based on a request from South Africa, which maintains that the Israeli operation in Gaza constitutes “genocide.” Israel claimed in court that an imposed ceasefire would allow a regrouping of Hamas fighters and make it impossible to release the hostages.

The South African Government welcomed the ICJ’s “pioneering” decision. “This order is pioneering, since it is the first of which explicit mention is made for Israel to stop its military action in any area of ​​Gaza,” the director general of the South African Department (Ministry) said in a video broadcast on social networks. of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO, in English)Zane Dangor.

In January, also following a complaint from South Africa, this court ordered Israel to do everything in its power to prevent acts of genocide and allow humanitarian aid to enter the Strip, but without demanding a ceasefire as Pretoria demanded. .

South Africa considered that the development of the situation, especially the incursion of Israeli troops into the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, required further intervention by the court.

This same week, the prosecutor of another supranational court, the International Criminal Court (CPI), called for arrest warrants to be issued against Netanyahu, his Defense Minister and three Hamas leaders. Prosecutor Karim Khan believes that the leaders of both sides could be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza and Israel.

“Cartoon”

South Africa asks the ICJ for urgent measures while its judges study the merits of the matter, that is, the accusation that Israel would be violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

At the ICJ hearing last week, the South African representative declared that “Israel’s genocide has continued and reached a new and horrendous phase” and accused the Jewish state of torture, blocking humanitarian aid and burying people in graves. common.

Israel responded that the South African accusation was “totally disconnected” from reality and called it a “caricature” of the UN Genocide Convention.

Before a foreseeable invasion of Rafah, the Israeli army ordered massive evacuations of that town, in order to eliminate what it considers the last Hamas battalions, destroy its network of tunnels and rescue the hostages.

According to the UN, these evacuations displaced 800,000 people, while One million Gazans, of the 2.4 million who live in the Strip, face “catastrophic levels of hunger.”

The war between Israel and Hamas broke out with the attack by the Islamist movement on October 7, which killed more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians. Hamas militants also kidnapped 252 people, of whom 121 remain in Gaza. The Israeli army estimates that 37 of them have died. The offensive launched by Israel against the Gaza Strip has so far left 35,800 dead, mainly civilians.

 
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