Spread the love

Israel bombs Rafah despite ICJ order for ceasefire

The Israeli army bombed Saturday Rafah despite ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to immediately stop its operations in this town in the south of the Gaza Strip from where hundreds of thousands of people fled.

At the same time, international efforts were relaunched to secure a truce in the war triggered by the unprecedented attack by the Islamist movement Hamas against Israel on October 7, and obtain the release of more than 100 hostages held in Palestinian territory.

An Israeli official said Saturday that the government intended to restart stalled negotiations “this week.” /p>

The ICJ, the highest court of the UN – whose decisions are legally binding but which lacks mechanisms to implement them – also ordered Israel on Friday to keep open the Rafah crossing, on the border with Israel. Egypt, essential for the entry of humanitarian aid, but closed after the launch of its ground operation in early May.

Israel defended itself by saying it “has not carried out and will not carry out military operations in the Rafah area” likely to “lead to the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population”.

Son The army launched ground operations on May 7 in the Rafah sector, where it said it wanted to rescue hostages and destroy the last battalions of Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

– “Enough of the war” –

Hamas, which took power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, welcomed the decision of the ICJ – which also ordered the “immediate release” of the hostages – while deploring that it was limited to Rafah.

Israel bombs Rafah despite ICJ order for ceasefire

Palestinians carry in a cart the bodies of people killed in an Israeli bombardment on May 25, 2024 in Jabalia, in the north of the Gaza Strip, where a war pits Israel against the Islamist movement Hamas © AFP – Omar AL-QATTAA

Israeli bombardments continued on Saturday in the Gaza Strip, notably in Khan Younes (south), Gaza City (north) and Rafah, witnesses and AFP journalists reported . In 24 hours, at least 46 additional deaths were recorded, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

In Rafah, the Israeli army claimed to have “eliminated a terrorist cell which opened fire on its troops”, and announced that fighters had been killed during “close combat” on Friday in Jabalia (north).

“We want to see the decision of the ICJ on the ground (…) Enough, enough, enough of the war,” insisted Moamen Muchtaha, 33, a Palestinian from Gaza City, displaced like many of the 2.4 million Gazans.

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

That day, 252 people were also taken as hostages to the Palestinian territory. After a truce in November which notably allowed the release of around a hundred of them, 121 hostages are still being held in Gaza, of whom 37 are dead, according to the army.

Israel bombs Rafah despite ICJ order for ceasefire

Palestinian women after an Israeli bombing on a building in Nousseirat on May 25, 2024, in the center of the Gaza Strip, where a conflict pits Israel against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas © AFP – Bashar TALEB

In response, the Israeli army launched a devastating offensive in the Palestinian territory, which left at least 35,903 dead, mainly civilians, according to data from the Ministry of Health of the Gaza government led by Hamas.

– “Binding” orders –

UN and NGOs regularly report a catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, with a risk of famine and many hospitals out of service . Ground operations in Rafah have pushed around 800,000 people to flee, according to the UN.

In addition, the Palestinian telecommunications operator Paltel indicated on Saturday on X that Internet access in Gaza City and surrounding areas had been disrupted “due to the ongoing aggression.”

And the US military said that four of its ships, used for the temporary jetty for aid to Gaza, ran aground on Saturday due to “rough seas”. “The pier remains fully functional,” stressed the US Middle East Command (Centcom).

Israel bombs Rafah despite ICJ order for ceasefire

Humanitarian aid entering Gaza © AFP – Omar KAMAL

After almost eight months of war, the pressure is increasing a little more every day on Israel.

Madrid warned on Saturday that the orders issued by the ICJ were “binding” and demanded their compliance.

Shortly after, the G7 Finance called on Israel to “guarantee” banking services to Palestinian banks, after the country threatened this week to deprive them of access to their own banking system.

– “Get them out of hell” –

Israel bombs Rafah despite ICJ order for ceasefire

© AFP – Bashar TALEB

On Saturday, an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Israel intended to resume discussions “this week” to obtain the release of the hostages. “There is an agreement,” he assured.

He did not give further details, but Israeli media report that the head of Mossad – the Israeli intelligence service – David Barnea had reached an agreement with CIA Director Bill Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdelrahmane Al-Thani at a meeting in Paris on a new framework for negotiations.

At the beginning of May, indirect discussions between Israel and Hamas, through Qatar, Egypt and the United States, failed to lead to a truce agreement associated with the release of hostages and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Israel bombs Rafah despite ICJ order for ceasefire

Israelis, including relatives of hostages held in the Gaza Strip, demonstrate on May 25, 2024 in Tel Aviv to demand their release, against a backdrop of war in the Palestinian territory between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas © AFP – JACK GUEZ

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron received the Prime Minister of Qatar and the Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers.

In Tel Aviv, thousands of Israelis gathered on Saturday evening to demand urgent action from the government to obtain the release of the hostages, after the army announced on Friday that it had recovered the bodies of three people in Gaza.

“We have to get them out of this hell now,” said Avivit, the sister of Chanan Yablonka, one of the hostages whose body was repatriated.

“In a few hours, I will bury my 42-year-old brother […]. I was dreading this moment”, she added.< /p>


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