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ICJ orders Israel to “immediately” stop military operations in Rafah

The highest court of the UN ordered Friday à Israel to suspend its military operations until now Rafah, a decision likely to increase international pressure on the country, more than seven months after the start of the war Gaza triggered by the Hamas attack on October 7.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) — whose decisions are legally binding but lack mechanisms for their implementation — also ordered Israel to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which he closed after the launch of his ground operation in the city in early May.

Immediately, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would bring together several ministers from his government for “consultation”

Without delay, his Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, declared on ~/p>

Hamas welcomed this decision while deploring that it was limited “only to Rafah”.

ICJ orders Israel to “immediately” stop military operations in Rafah

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), May 17, 2024 in The Hague © AFP – Nick Gammon

Seized by South Africa which accuses Israel of “genocide”, the ICJ also orders Israel to “keep the Rafah crossing open to allow the unimpeded and large-scale provision of basic services and humanitarian aid which he urgently needs”.

The Court, which sits in The Hague, also calls for the “immediate and unconditional release” of the held hostages in Gaza.

On the ground, Israeli war planes flew over Gaza city (north) at night, where shots were heard, noted the AFP. The army reported mortar fire on soldiers in the center.

During a joint operation by the army and Israeli intelligence services, three bodies of hostages killed on October 7 then taken to the Gaza Strip were recovered overnight in Jabalia, in the north of the Palestinian territory.

The army indicated on Friday that it was continuing its operations there, particularly in the eponymous displaced persons camp, reduced to a field of ruins.

– Alarming humanitarian situation –

The security and humanitarian situation in the territory remains alarming.

ICJ orders Israel to “immediately” stop military operations in Rafah

A patient lies in a bed during a partial power outage at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, May 23, 2024 © AFP – Bashar TALEB

“I saw my sister and her husband lying dead next to each other,” Ammar Abou Ghaben, a displaced Palestinian, told AFPTV after several members of his family were killed in an attack by Israeli warships on the coast.

In Jabalia, Kamal Adwan Hospital is “out of service and 14 medical staff are trapped inside”, according to a medical source from the establishment.

Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City reported seven deaths.

The international community must “provide 50,000 liters of fuel (…) in the coming hours in order to avoid a humanitarian and health catastrophe”, called on an official from Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah (center) .

The Israeli army launched ground operations in Rafah on May 7, with the stated objective of annihilating the last Hamas battalions there and rescuing the hostages , despite international warnings about the fate of civilians. Some 800,000 people have fled, according to the UN.

– “New anti-Semitism” –

The war began on October 7 after the attack on Israeli soil by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip, leading to the death of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on data official Israeli sources.

On that day, 252 people were also taken as hostages into the Palestinian territory. Today, 121 are still held in Gaza, of whom 37 have died, according to the army.

In response, the Israeli army launched a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States in particular, took power in 2007.

At least 35,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

ICJ orders Israel to “immediately” stop military operations in Rafah

Israeli activists protest against the war in the Gaza Strip in front of the US consulate in Jerusalem, May 24, 2024 © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI

After more than 230 days of war, the pressure is increasing on Israel.

Israelis gathered Friday morning in front of the American consulate in Jerusalem, carrying banners calling to “liberate Gaza”, according to an AFP photographer.

Earlier this week, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested the issuance of arrest warrants for alleged crimes committed in the Gaza Strip and Israel against Hamas and Israeli leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu. .

This decision provoked vehement reactions in Israel, with Mr. Netanyahu saying he “rejected it with disgust” and speaking of a “new anti-Semitism”.

– Talks for a truce in Paris –

ICJ orders Israel to “immediately” stop military operations in Rafah

Countries that recognize the State of Palestine © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Samuel BARBOSA

On another diplomatic aspect, Israel sanctioned Madrid two days after the announcement by Spain, Ireland and Norway to recognize the State of Palestine. Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced on Friday that he had “decided to cut the link” between the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem and the Palestinians.

The day before, the ministry warned that the decision of these three countries would make “more difficult the promotion of an agreement for the release of the hostages”.

The war cabinet nevertheless ordered Israeli negotiators to “return to the negotiating table to obtain the return of the hostages”, according to a senior official.

At the beginning of May, Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, through Qatar, Egypt and the United States, did not result in a truce agreement associated with the release of Palestinian hostages and prisoners held by Israel.

ICJ orders Israel to “immediately” stop military operations in Rafah

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building hit by Israeli strikes in the Al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza on May 23, 2024. © AFP – Omar AL-QATTAA

The head of the CIA, William Burns, is expected in Paris on Friday or Saturday to try to relaunch talks on a truce in Gaza, AFP learned from a Western source close to the matter.< /p>

French President Emmanuel Macron will receive the Prime Minister and head of diplomacy of Qatar on Friday evening as well as the Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers, “to lobby for 'a ceasefire', according to Cairo.


All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116