Israel has been ordered by the top U.N. courts to stop its military operation

The Gaza War: Israel’s Response to the UN Court’s Report on Gaza and the Palestinians in Gaza, and the Status of the Area

Israel characterized its military operation in Rafah, which lies on the border between Gaza and Egypt as limited and local, as part of its defense at the UN court. It argued that the court’s judges should not limit Israel’s actions. Lawyers for South Africa argued that Israel’s Rafah offensive was “the last step in the destruction of Gaza and the Palestinian people.”

South Africa added to a broader case against Israel at the International Court of Justice in December because it accused it of committing acts of genocide in Gaza. The court has not yet ruled on that case and it could take months or years to do so.

Israel and the United States have had a long-running dispute over the military operation in Rafah. A military operation could cause a humanitarian crisis because of the number of Palestinians who are in the city.

Over a million Palestinians have left the area since Israel launched its offensive. There was an estimated 1.3 million Palestinians who were homeless before Israel launched its current offensive.

Israel’s case of starvation as a weapon of warfare in the presence of a U.N. Security Council and a United Nations Security Council resolution

Israel would rely on the United States to veto a resolution by the U.N. Security Council if a similar injunction were to be granted by the ICJ.

Khan is requesting warrants for Sinwar, Deif and Haniyeh on charges of heinous crimes against humanity such as murder and sexual violence. He wants to bring charges against Netanyahu and Gallant for the war crime of “starvation as a weapon of warfare,” marking the first time this charge would be used in international courts.

Rob and Daniel reported from both Berlin and Tel Aviv. Anas Baba contributed to this story in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. The Hague had someone contribute to it in Abu Bakr Bashir. Hadel Al-Shalchi contributed to Tel Aviv.

Josep Borell, top diplomat for the European Union asked what position the EU would take towards Israel after the court ruling. ”We will have to choose,” he said, “between our support to international institutions of the rule of law or our support to Israel.”

The Israeli High Court of Justice Decided to End Israel’s Gaza Offensive: A Critical Analysis and Critics of the Court’s Decision

Cairo halted aid shipments through its border with Gaza. The United Nations stopped distributing food in the town of Rafah on May 21 due to lack of supplies and a surge in diseases due to a lack of basic supplies.

Outside the courtroom in the Hague, pro-Palestinian demonstrators told NPR they were disappointed with the court’s decision because it stopped short of calling for a total end to Israel’s Gaza offensive.

Abuisa said that Netanyahu wouldn’t respect anyone, because he is in the ruins of a damaged school. He doesn’t respect the decisions of the court. The decisions are useless because Netanyahu doesn’t care about anyone.

Israeli political leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the court’s ruling. Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said, “History will judge who today stood by the Nazis of Hamas and ISIS.”

An opposition leader called the court’s ruling a “moral disaster” when it did not order the return of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

An hour after the court ruling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a phone meeting to consult Israel’s top legal official and senior government ministers and officials, Netanyahu’s office said.

Minutes before the court announced its ruling, Palestinians in Rafah reported one of the most intensive Israeli bombardments there since troops entered the western part of the city in early May. The hospital in the city had a medical team inside and it had been mostly evacuated, but Israeli strikes on a main road have cut access to it. The Israeli military did not make a comment.

Reading out the court’s ruling from the bench of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Court President Nawaf Salam noted that provisional measures ordered by the court earlier this year have not fully addressed the situation in Gaza and that conditions, particularly in Rafah, have deteriorated further.

The United Nations International Children’s Fund estimates that half of the 1.2 million people who have been living in Rafah are children and that military operations there would result in some services and infrastructure being destroyed.

Yuval Shany, an international law expert at the Hebrew University and senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, says the court’s ruling left enough ambiguity to allow Israel to continue its offensive there.

The decision Friday marked the third time this year that the 15-judge panel has issued preliminary orders to cut the death toll and create more pathways for aid in Gaza.

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