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ICJ rules Israel immediately halt Rafah offensive and open crossing

Posted On: 24-05-2024 | Human Rights , International
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today ruled that Israel must immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah and open crossing to aid.

Following a plea from South Africa, the ICJ has ruled in a 13-2 vote that Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in Rafah and open the Rafah border crossing to allow the entry of humanitarian aid to the blockaded Strip.

ICJ President Nawaf Salam said the humanitarian situation in Gaza was now "disastrous" and said earlier measures issued were insufficient.

"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," he said, reading out the judgement to the court.

He added that Israel needed to reopen the Rafah crossing and "ensure the unimpeded access of commissions of inquiry or investigative bodies mandated by the UN to investigate allegations of genocide."

Judges are "not convinced that the evacuation efforts and related measures that Israel affirms to have undertaken" are "sufficient to alleviate the immense risk" to Palestinians in Rafah, Salam said while noting that Israel "has not provided sufficient information concerning the safety of the population during the evacuation process".

The ICJ ordered Israel to report to the court within a month on its progress in implementing the measures.

The ICJ, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, stopped short of calling for a full ceasefire today.

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