HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsICJ orders Israel to immediately halt attack on Rafah

ICJ orders Israel to immediately halt attack on Rafah


The Hague, 24 May 2024 (TDI): Today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to immediately halt the Rafah offensive in Gaza.

Last week, South Africa, in its fourth submission to ICJ, asked for additional emergency measures to protect Rafah citing it necessary for the survival of Palestinians in the area.

Furthermore, it also asked the panel of 15 permanent judges and one ad hoc Israeli judge to order Israel to allow unimpeded access to Gaza for UN officials, organisations providing humanitarian aid, journalists and investigators.

Rafah, the southernmost governorate of Gaza Strip is under immense pressure as more than a million Palestinians have been sheltering there.

ICJ Ruling

The ICJ President Nawaf Salam pinpointed that the humanitarian situation in Gaza has now “deteriorated”.

Previously, the concerns that ICJ has expressed “have materialized… the humanitarian situation is now to be categorized as disastrous,” he further underlined.

Moreover, the earlier measures issued in January 2024 ruling have “turned insufficient”.

“The military ground offensive on Rafah is still ongoing and has led to new evacuation orders. As a result, nearly 800,000 people have been displaced from Rafah as of May 18, 2024,” he narrated the facts supporting the verdict.

“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,” ICJ President read out the judgment to the court.

Also, Israel must reopen the Rafah crossing to “ensure the unimpeded access of commissions of inquiry or investigative bodies mandated by the UN to investigate allegations of genocide,” he asserted.

Reaction to the verdict

The Palestinian Authority has immediately welcomed the ICJ ruling.

“The Presidency welcomes the decision issued by the International Court of Justice, which represents an international consensus on the demand to stop the all-out war on Gaza,” the Palestinian Presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh shared official position.

Also Read: ICJ Hearing on case of Israeli Occupation of Palestine

South Africa has also hailed the decision. “This order is ground-breaking, as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any area of Gaza,” Director General of South Africa’s Ministry of International Relations, Zane Dangor commented.

Indeed, the ruling by the UN’s top court is “de facto calling for a ceasefire,” he further emphasized.

“It is ordering the major party in this conflict to end its belligerent action against the people of Palestine,” he concluded.

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