Genocide Court Calls on Israel to Prevent ‘Exponential Increase of Humanitarian Nightmare’

by | Feb 18, 2024

Genocide Court Calls on Israel to Prevent ‘Exponential Increase of Humanitarian Nightmare’

by | Feb 18, 2024

blockade violated qatar's rights: international court

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JULY 23: An inside view of International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on July 23, 2018. The International Court of Justice on Monday ruled that the United Arab Emirates had violated the rights of Qataris through the blockade it imposed on its Persian Gulf neighbor over a year ago. (Photo by Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) demanded that Israel abide by a ruling the court issued last month as Palestinians suffer in a “perilous situation.” The court issued the statement in response to a request by South Africa for the court to intervene and prevent an Israeli attack on Rafah. 

Near the end of last year, South Africa filed a suit with the ICJ alleging Israel was committing genocide in Gaza. In January, the court issued a primary ruling that Israel was committing a genocide fueled by statements from Israeli officials. 

The ICJ ruling demanded that Israel halt operations that endanger civilians, end genocidal rhetoric, and punish those who commit or encourage war crimes. Israel and the US dismissed the ICJ ruling. 

Last week, Pretoria filed a request with the court to issue an additional ruling against Israel as Tel Aviv planned operations in Rafah. Rafah is the last remaining city in Gaza not completely decimated by the Israeli military operations. At least 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering in the city, many in tents and on the streets. 

The ICJ responded to the South African request by declining to issue further orders to Israel but cited its previous ruling that called on Israel to halt operations that could endanger Palestinian civilians. “The Court notes that the most recent developments in the Gaza Strip, and in Rafah in particular, would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences,” a statement from the ICJ said. 

“This perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the Court in its Order of 26 January 2024.” The press release continues, “The Court emphasizes that the State of Israel remains bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the said Order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.” 

The Israeli government is planning the attack on Rafah and Prime Minister Netanyahu says it will go ahead despite international pressure. Human rights organizations and Western governments are warning Israel not to attack the city because of the suffering it will inflict on Palestinian civilians. 

It is unclear where the Palestinians will go once Israel destroys Rafah. Tel Aviv says it will not push the Palestinians from Rafah across the border into Egypt. However, Cairo is preparing for an influx of refugees.  

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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