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ICJ Orders Israel to Cease Rafah Offensive, Cites ‘Disastrous’ Humanitarian Crisis

The Hague: In a decisive ruling, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has commanded Israel to immediately suspend its military offensive in the Rafah governorate, citing a severe humanitarian crisis. The decision, delivered by ICJ President Nawaf Salam, underscores the urgent need to protect the Palestinian population in Gaza from further harm.

Judge Nawaf  Salam emphasized the dire situation, stating, “Israel must immediately halt its military offensive or any other actions in the Rafah governorate that may inflict conditions of life on the Palestinian group in Gaza leading to their physical destruction, in whole or in part.” He described the humanitarian conditions in Rafah as “disastrous” and deteriorating rapidly since the last court order in March.

The ICJ criticized Israel’s current evacuation efforts, declaring them insufficient to mitigate the significant risks faced by civilians. Judge Salam remarked, “The court is not convinced that the evacuation efforts and related measures undertaken by Israel are adequate to enhance the security of civilians in the Gaza Strip, particularly those recently displaced from Rafah.”

Additionally, the ICJ ordered Israel to ensure unimpeded access for UN-mandated commissions and investigative bodies to enter Gaza and investigate allegations of genocide. “Israel must take effective measures to guarantee the unimpeded access of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission, or investigative body mandated by the competent organs of the UN,” Judge Salam asserted.

This ruling highlights the international community’s call for immediate action to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian population and ensure accountability for potential human rights violations, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

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