ICJ Orders Israel to Halt Military Operations in Rafah

ICJ Orders Israel to Halt Military Operations in Rafah

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The International Court of Justice mandated that Israel cease its military operations in Gaza’s Rafah and ensure the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, following a significant ruling on Friday.

The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has directed Israel to stop its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

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," the ICJ stated on Friday.

In early May, Israel conducted ground incursions into Rafah, disregarding international warnings and displacing over 800,000 people, according to United Nations data.

The ICJ, often referred to as the World Court, also ordered Israel to ensure the Rafah crossing remains open to facilitate "unhindered" delivery of humanitarian aid.

Israel must "maintain open the Rafah crossing for unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance," the court declared in this landmark ruling.

The ruling followed South Africa's recent request for the ICJ to halt the conflict in Gaza, particularly in Rafah.

South Africa had filed a genocide case against Israel in December 2023 over its actions in the Gaza Strip, arguing that Israel's operations were "genocidal in character" with the intent to destroy a significant part of the Palestinian national, racial, and ethnic group.

While the ICJ’s final decision on the broader South African case may take months or years, the court can impose urgent measures in the interim.

In January, the ICJ issued an interim ruling demanding Israel take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.

On March 6, South Africa returned to the court, seeking additional provisional measures against Israel due to widespread reports of starvation.

Subsequently, in late March, the court ordered Israel to take "all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.”

Israel launched its offensive on Gaza on October 7 following the surprise operation by the Palestinian resistance movement, which was a response to longstanding Israeli aggressions against Palestinians.

Tel Aviv has also blocked essential supplies, including water, food, and electricity, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Since the beginning of the war, at least 35,800 Palestinians have been killed and 80,200 injured, according to reports.

The ICJ ruling coincides with a significant decision by the International Criminal Court prosecutor, who on Monday requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on charges of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

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