Top UN Court Orders Israel to Immediately Halt Rafah Assault in Landmark Ruling


Diego Ramos | ScheerPost - TRANSCEND Media Service

The International Court of Justice aims to protect over a million people in the Southern Gaza city from the Israeli offensive.
24 May 2024 – Today, the United Nations’ top court ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where over 1.5 million people have sought refuge following monthslong Israeli attacks and mass displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.As of May 18, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) cites that over 800,000 people have been displaced from Rafah after new Israeli evacuation orders were issued. A document released by the UN Friday cites the developments in Rafah have led to a “catastrophic humanitarian situation,” and the situation “is now to be characterized as disastrous.”

The document states that the ICJ deems Israel’s measures to purportedly protect civilians in the Gaza Strip, particularly those displaced from Rafah, as insufficient. The Court points to an analysis by Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who stated on May 18:

“[t]he areas that people are fleeing to now do not have safe water supplies or sanitation facilities. Al-Mawasi as one example is a sandy 14 square kilometre agricultural land, where people are left out in the open with little to no buildings or roads. It lacks the minimal conditions to provide emergency humanitarian assistance in a safe and dignified manner.”

The ICJ holds no power to enforce the ruling and Al Jazeera reports that Israel is not planning to “respond to the decision of the court, both politically or militarily.”

According to NBC News, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was meeting with legal advisors to review the ruling.”

Below is the document issued by the ICJ:____________________________________________________

Diego Ramos, ScheerPost managing editor and New York bureau chief, is a journalist from Queens, NY. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has previously worked at BuzzFeed News and was managing editor of Annenberg News at USC. He’s covered and researched myriad topics including war, politics, psychedelic research and sports. 

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