International Court of Justice measure seeks protection of civilians and facilitation of humanitarian aid

The ICJ (International Court of Justice), the main judicial body of the United Nations, ordered Israel to immediately cease its military operations in the Rafah region, located in the south of the Gaza Strip. The decision issued in this Friday (May 24, 2024) aims to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid.

The measure was taken after an urgent request from the South African government, which accused Israel of committing genocide. The Israeli government rejected the accusation and claims to be acting in self-defense, according to information from Al Jazeera.

In addition to suspension military activities, the Court ordered Israel to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid across the border with Egypt, and to ensure access for international observers to monitor the situation. Israel must also report to the ICJ, within a month, the actions taken to comply with the order.

Despite the mandatory nature of the ICJ’s decision, the court does not have its own means to guarantee its implementation.

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In response, the Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, his X profile demonstrated the country’s refusal to accept the decision, criticizing and arguing that it amounts to a denial of Israel’s existence.

“Those who demand that the State of Israel stop the war demand that it decree that it cease to exist. We will not agree to this”. Smotrich ainda ended by saying that “history will judge those who supported the Nazis of Hamas and ISIS today”.

Israel justifies the operation, which began in May 2024, by claiming that Rafah is a Hamas stronghold. The city is a crucial point for the entry of humanitarian aid, housing approximately 1.5 million people, more than half of the total population of the Gaza Strip.

The Court’s verdict puts additional diplomatic pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. This comes after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, requested arrest warrants for Netanyahu and other Israeli and Hamas leaders on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


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