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The ICJ orders Israel to halt its military offensive in Rafah

The ICJ orders Israel to halt its military offensive in Rafah

Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have voted 13 to 2 to order Israel to cease its military actions in Rafah, located in southern Gaza. The court declared that Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other actions in the Rafah governorate that could subject the Palestinian group in Gaza to conditions of life leading to their physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Lebanese judge Nawaf Salam underscored the “exceptionally grave” situation in Gaza, stating that it necessitated a new order. This came in response to South Africa’s request for emergency measures in its genocide case against Israel.

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In a related development, Hamas praised the UN top court’s ruling for Israel to immediately halt its offensive in Rafah but criticized the decision for not extending to the rest of Gaza. The Palestinian fighter group “welcomes the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ),” it said in a statement. However, Hamas expressed disappointment, expecting the ICJ ruling to “put an end to the aggression and genocide against our people throughout the Gaza Strip, and not just in Rafah.”

Additionally, South Africa welcomed the ICJ’s order for Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah and called on UN member states to support the decision. “I believe it’s a much stronger, in terms of wording, set of provisional measures, very clear call for a cessation,” Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told the country’s public broadcaster.