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Israel calls ICJ’s ruling to halt operations in Rafah “false, outrageous and morally repugnant”

Sat, 25 May 2024   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tel Aviv [Israel], May 25 (ANI): Following the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order for Israel to halt its operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israel called the order “outrageous, morally repugnant and disgusting”, adding that the accusations it is committing genocide in Gaza “are false”, reported Al Jazeera.
The UN’s emergency aid chief said Israel’s war on Gaza has been “a tragedy beyond words”, and it must “end this nightmare”.
Israel’s National Security Council and Foreign Ministry issued a joint statement, responding to the ICJ’s ruling on Rafah, and said that the charges of genocide brought by South Africa against Israel at the ICJ in The Hague were “false, outrageous and morally repugnant.”
However, it added that Israel “has not and will not” carry out operations that risk the destruction of the civilian population in the southern Gaza city, The Times of Israel reported.
It further emphasised that Israel embarked upon a defensive and just war to eliminate Hamas and to secure the release of Israeli hostages.
“Following the horrific attack against the citizens of Israel on October 7th, 2023, Israel embarked upon a defensive and just war to eliminate Hamas and to secure the release of our hostages. Israel is acting based on its right to defend its territory and its citizens, consistent with its moral values and in compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law,” the statement read.
Moreover, it stressed that Israel has not and will not conduct military actions in the Rafah area which may inflict on the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, The Times of Israel reported.
The United Nations’ top court, on Friday, ordered Israel to halt its operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and withdraw from the enclave, CNN reported.
The ICJ situated in The Hague, Netherlands gave the order on Friday, in the case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide, citing “immense risk” to the Palestinian population.
Judge Nawaf Salam, president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), said, “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.”
However, according to the interpretation of four judges on the court, this order was not a direct and total order to stop the Rafah operation, but rather a limited order instructing Israel not to violate the Genocide Convention in that military campaign, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Notably, the decision marks the third time this year, that the 15-judge panel has issued preliminary orders seeking to rein in the death toll and alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza.
However, it is pertinent to note that while orders are legally binding, the court has no police to enforce them.
Nearly one million of the 1.4 million Palestinians sheltering in Rafah have already evacuated after the IDF ordered them to do so.
Along with its orders regarding Israel’s military operation in Rafah, the court also ordered Israel to “maintain open” the Rafah Border Crossing between Egypt and Gaza to allow the “unhindered provision at scale” of humanitarian aid to the region.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry and NSC, in their statement, also said that Israel “will continue its efforts to enable humanitarian assistance and will act, in full compliance with the law, to reduce as much as possible harm caused to the civilian population in Gaza.”
Meanwhile, Jerusalem emphasised that it remained committed to allowing aid to be delivered through the gateway, as reported by The Times of Israel.
“Israel will continue to enable the Rafah crossing to remain open for the entry of humanitarian assistance from the Egyptian side of the border, and will prevent terror groups from controlling the passage,” the Israeli statement said.
Notably, Egypt has refused to reopen the crossing since Israel took over the Gaza side on May 7, not wanting to be seen as complicit, Cairo has refused to re-open Rafah until Israeli troops have withdrawn from the other side.
Israel has strongly denied that it has carried out acts of genocide in its war against Hamas in Gaza.
Israel launched its assault on the southern city of Rafah this month, forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee a city that had become a refuge to about half of the population’s 2.3 million people, Al Jazeera reported.
Rafah, on Gaza’s southern edge, has also been the main route for aid, and international organisations say the Israeli operation has cut off the enclave and raised the risk of famine.
ICJ has also ordered Israel to submit a report within one month on progress related to measures ordered by the UN’s top court. (ANI)



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