World Court to rule on Friday on measures over Israel’s Rafah offensive

World Court to rule on Friday on measures over Israel’s Rafah offensive
World Court to rule on Friday on measures over Israel’s Rafah offensive

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Displaced Palestinians, who fled their house due to Israeli strikes, shelter at a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the Al-Mawasi area in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024. — Reuters pic

THE HAGUE, May 23 — The International Court of Justice will rule tomorrow on South Africa’s request to order a halt to Israel’s Rafah offensive in Gaza, it said today.

Last week, South Africa had asked the ICJ, also known as the World Court, to order a halt to Israel’s offensive in Gaza, and in Rafah in particular, to ensure the survival of the Palestinian people.

The demand for such an emergency measure is part of a larger case brought before the Hague-based court by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide.

Israel has denounced South Africa’s claim that it is violating the 1948 Genocide Convention, saying this makes a mockery of the crime of genocide.

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The court has previously rejected Israel’s demand to throw out the case and has ordered it to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians, while stopping short of ordering a halt to Israeli military operations.

South Africa asked for additional emergency measures to protect Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have been sheltering. It also asked the panel of 15 permanent judges to order Israel to allow unimpeded access to Gaza for UN officials, organisations providing humanitarian aid, journalists and investigators.

Israel launched its assault on Gaza erupted after Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing over 250 hostages according to Israeli tallies. Over 35,000 Palestinians have since been killed in the Israeli assault Gaza, with at least 10,000 more missing, Gaza’s health ministry says.

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On Monday, the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, a separate court also based in The Hague, said he had requested arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence chief and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes.

The ICC prosecutes individuals for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, while the ICJ is the highest UN body for disputes between states. — Reuters

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