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Halt Rafah offensive now, ICJ tells Israel
(Pic: International Court of Justice)

24 May 2024 / global news Print

Halt Rafah offensive now, ICJ tells Israel

The United Nations’ top court has ordered Israel to “immediately halt” its military offensive in Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

The judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also told Israel to keep the Rafah border crossing open for “unhindered provision at scale” of basic services and humanitarian assistance.

The court also told Israel to take “effective measures” to ensure the unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission, or other investigative body mandated by the UN to investigate allegations of genocide.

Israel must submit a report to the court on the measures it has taken to comply with these orders within a month.

‘Exceptionally grave’

The court made its orders in response to a request from South Africa. Israel had asked the court to reject the South African call.

In its decision, the court said that what it described as “the catastrophic humanitarian situation” in the Gaza Strip had deteriorated further since its previous orders on Gaza made in late March.

It cited UN reports that nearly 800,000 had been displaced since Israel began a military ground offensive in Rafah on 7 May 2024.

The court described the developments as “exceptionally grave”, adding that they amounted to a change in the situation since its last decision.

The judges also said that they were “not convinced” that Israel’s evacuation efforts and related measures “are sufficient to alleviate the immense risk to which the Palestinian population is exposed as a result of the military offensive in Rafah”.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland