The EU demands that Israel comply with the ICJ ruling on Rafah

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European diplomats have demanded that Israel comply with an International Court of Justice order to “immediately cease” the offensive in Rafah, the southern Gazan town that has become a refuge for more than 1 million civilians. after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Speaking before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said “everyone agrees that the judgments of the International Court of Justice are binding and we must be implemented”.

Despite this order, Israeli forces continued to operate in Rafah over the weekend and on Sunday, more than 35 people were killed and dozens more injured in a UN-run “safe zone” in Tal as-Sultan neighborhood of the city, following what the authorities said. in Gaza said Israeli airstrike.

UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, said there were “reports of mass casualties including children and women among those killed” in the “horrific” incident, which caused fires in the crowded tent city, home to people fleeing fighting elsewhere in Palestine. surrounding area.

“Gaza is hell on earth. The images from last night are another proof of that,” it said.

Israel’s military prosecutor on Monday described the case as “very difficult” and that Israel is investigating the matter. The Israeli military previously said it targeted a “Hamas compound” in the area.

The ICJ’s call for Borrell’s order to be implemented was echoed by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares. Albares said ministers would discuss how to “take appropriate measures to implement that decision”.

The United Nations Supreme Court issued an order Israeli on Friday to “immediately stop the military offensive and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which could expose the Palestinian population in Gaza to living conditions that could lead to total physical destruction.” whole or part”.

“Unfortunately, what we have seen in recent hours is Israel continuing the military action that it has been asked to stop,” Borrell said, noting that Hamas also continued to fire rockets at Israel . “This is really a difficult problem, how can the international community. . . enforce the decision of the ICJ.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly asserted that an operation in Rafah is necessary to defeat. Hamasand Tzachi Hanegbi, the country’s national security adviser, stated Saturday that the wording of the order was not a blanket ban on Israeli forces operating in Rafah.

“What they are asking us is not to commit genocide in Rafah. We have not committed genocide and we will not commit genocide,” he said in an interview with Israeli television station N12.

“Under international law, we have the right to defend ourselves, and as evidenced by the court, we are not preventing us from continuing to defend ourselves.”

The ICJ order capped a week of diplomatic setbacks for Israel, in which three European countries said they would recognize Palestine this week, and the prosecutor at the separate International Criminal Court asked arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three senior leaders of Hamas.

Borrell said the work of the ICC must be “respected” and defended prosecutor Karim Khan, who has faced fierce criticism from Israel and its allies for his decision to seek injunctions against Netanyahu and Gallant.

“We must . . . let the court decide without intimidation what they think about this initiative of the prosecutor. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The prosecutor and the court was strongly threatened and accused of anti-Semitism,” Borrell said. “The accusation of anti-Semitism against the ICC prosecutor is completely unacceptable.”


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