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International Court of Justice Refuses to Block Israel from Attack in Rafah

International Court of Justice Refuses to Block Israel from Attack in Rafah

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ judicial body for handling disputes among countries, declined Friday to block Israel from undertaking military operations in Rafah, Gaza, against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

South Africa, which is pursuing a separate legal action against Israel for supposed “genocide” in Gaza, brought an urgent application to the ICJ on Monday, hours after Israel rescued two hostages from Rafah. South Africa complained of an “assault” but left out the hostages.

The ICJ responded by referring to its interim ruling on “genocide” last month, reminding Israel to abide by its obligations. (The ICJ did not block Israel’s military action in Gaza in that ruling, either, but required Israel to submit a report.)

The ICJ said Friday:

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’, as stated by the United Nations Secretary-General (Remarks to the General Assembly on priorities for 2024 (7 Feb.2024)).

This perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the Court in its Order of 26 January 2024, which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, and does not demand the
indication of additional provisional measures.

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.

Israel says it needs to attack Hamas in Gaza to eliminate the last four Hamas battalions, capture the Hamas leaders, and rescue the remaining 130 or so Israeli hostages.

Many nations, including the U.S., are discouraging Israel from launching an attack on Hamas in Rafah – partly out of concern for the number of Palestinian civilians who have fled there, and partly because some want to use Hamas’s presence in Gaza as leverage to force Israel to accept a Palestinian state as a condition for a hostage release.

On Friday, reports emerged that Egypt is building a walled enclosure near its border with Rafah in possible anticipation of an influx of up to 100,000 Palestinian refugees — a sign that Egypt may quietly help Israel defeat Hamas by evacuating civilians.

Separately, the ICJ is set to hear testimony from 52 states against Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) as part of a process to issue a non-binding advisory opinion that was initiated through the United Nations in 2022, long before the war.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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