'Israel must be stopped': World Court to rule today on request to halt Rafah offensive

Rulings by the International Court of Justice are final and binding

By Reuters

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Photo by AFP for illustrative purposes
Photo by AFP for illustrative purposes

Published: Fri 24 May 2024, 8:31 AM

Judges at the top court of United Nations (UN) top court will rule on Friday, May 24, on South Africa's request to order Israel to halt its Rafah offensive and withdraw from Gaza.

South Africa's lawyers asked the court last week to impose emergency measures, and said Israel's attacks on the southern Gaza city 'must be stopped' to ensure the survival of the Palestinian people.

Rulings by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, are final and binding, but have been ignored in the past. The court has no enforcement powers.

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An Israeli military spokesman said the army is operating "carefully and precisely" in Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge from Israeli bombing and operations elsewhere in the Palestinian enclave.

Several European countries said on Wednesday they would recognise a Palestinian state, and the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Monday he had filed an application for arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as leaders of Hamas.

The ICC prosecutes individuals for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, while the ICJ is the highest U.N. body for disputes between states.

The ICJ has previously rejected Israel's demand to throw out the overall case. The court has ordered it to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians and allow aid to flow, while stopping short of ordering a halt to Israeli military operations.

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