June 17, 2024

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Israel-Gaza: What does the International Court of Justice ruling regarding the Israeli attack on Rafah mean?

Israel-Gaza: What does the International Court of Justice ruling regarding the Israeli attack on Rafah mean?

Comment on the photo, President of the International Court of Justice Nawaf Salam (center) stands during a ruling on the situation in Rafah

  • author, Dominic Cassiani
  • Role, Home and Legal Correspondent

The highest court of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, issued a ruling last week regarding the Israeli military attack in Rafah.

This is the court’s latest ruling in a case brought by South Africa, which accuses Israel of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip. Israel strongly denied these accusations.

Since the start of the case, the court has issued a series of disputed rulings.

The most important concern is whether or not the court has indicated a risk of genocide in Gaza. The second ruling, issued on May 24, contains controversial language regarding military operations in Rafah.

It is now being intensely scrutinized and debated.

In its decision issued last week, the court ruled by 13 votes to two that Israel must: “immediately cease its military attack, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may impose on the Palestinian group in Gaza living conditions that could give rise to it.” Physical destruction, in whole or in part.”

Headlines suggested this was an order to halt all military operations in Rafah – but some judges disagree with what that means.

Five of the fifteen published their own opinions. Three people supported the matter and two opposed it.

Justice Diri Tladi, of South Africa, disagreed with Aurescu, even though they voted for the same matter. He said that it asked Israel “in clear terms” to stop its attack in Rafah.

The two judges who dissented declared that no matter how others voted in favor of it, it was certainly not a requirement for Israel to begin a unilateral ceasefire in Rafah.

Uganda’s Julia Sibutinde said the court could not “micromanage” the war, and Israeli President Aharon Barak, who was temporarily appointed to the case, said the ICJ’s order was “conditional” as long as the country adhered to the genocide convention.

The summary presented by the German judge, Georg Nolte, is the most revealing of what the court reached.

The order, when voted in favor, prohibits military action “to the extent that it could endanger the rights of the Palestinian people” in protecting them from the threat of genocide. But he stressed: “The court can only play a limited role in resolving the situation.” She must be careful not to exceed the limits of what she can and should do.