European Press

Dutch NOS: International Court of Justice: Israel must immediately stop its attack on Rafah

The International Court of Justice calls on Israel to immediately stop the attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, and the Court of Appeal stated this in an interim ruling in a case brought by South Africa against Israel.

Israel will almost certainly not abide by the interim order, and said before the ruling was issued that it would ignore any conviction.

In this case, South Africa accuses Israel of committing genocide, and the interim ruling is the third in five months. In its previous rulings, issued in January and March, the International Court of Justice had already decided that Israel must do everything in its power to protect the civilian population in Gaza and allow aid. Humanitarian access to Gaza, as the Court confirms these provisions in this ruling.

Following developments in Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians have found refuge, South Africa has now called for more far-reaching emergency measures. According to the country, the attack on Rafah puts the survival of the Palestinian people at risk. Not only has a large portion of the population fled here, Rafah is also the only place in Gaza with functioning hospitals.

Earlier in the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on instructions from the Israeli army, hoping to be relatively safe there.

The International Court of Justice says that the situation in Rafah has deteriorated further since the issuance of the previous interim ruling. The judges are now talking about a catastrophic situation.

Court of Appeal and Criminal Court
This interim ruling was issued by the International Court of Justice, which is a different court than the International Criminal Court.
The International Court of Justice deals with disputes between states. The International Criminal Court can try individuals for war crimes and crimes against humanity, among other things. Both courts are located in The Hague.

Israel calls accusations of genocide disgraceful and says it is doing everything it can to reduce human suffering in Rafah. Israel also says Hamas is using civilians as human shields.

The rulings of the UN court are binding, but states can ignore them, and the International Court of Justice has no means of enforcing its rulings.
The court says it will still take years to actually rule on whether genocide is occurring in Gaza.

Dutch NOS
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