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Top UN court opens hearings on Israeli military’s incursion into Rafah

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — South Africa on Thursday urged the United Nations’ highest court to order a ceasefire in Gaza during hearings on emergency measures to end the Israeli military operation in the town of Rafah, in the south of the enclave.

This was the third time that the International Court of Justice held hearings on the conflict in Gaza since South Africa filed a complaint in December before the Hague-based court in the Netherlands, accusing Israel of genocide.

The country’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela, urged the panel of 15 international judges to order Israel to “completely and unconditionally withdraw” from the Gaza Strip.

The court has already noted that there is a “real and imminent risk” to the Palestinian people in Gaza from Israeli military operations. “This may well be the last chance for the court to act,” said Irish lawyer Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh, who is part of the South African legal team.

The court’s judges have broad powers to order a ceasefire and other measures, although the court does not have its own enforcement apparatus. A order 2022 The Court’s demand that Russia end its large-scale invasion of Ukraine has so far gone unheeded.

During the hearings at the beginning of the year, Israel strongly denied committing genocide in Gaza, claiming he is doing everything he can to spare civilians and only targets Hamas militants. The country says Rafah is the militant group’s last stronghold.

The latest request concerns the incursion into Rafah.

South Africa says the military operation went far beyond self-defense. “Israel’s actions in Rafah are part of the end game. It is the final step towards the destruction of Gaza,” said lawyer Vaughan Lowe.

According to the latest request, the Hague court’s previous preliminary orders were not sufficient to deal with “a brutal military attack on the only remaining refuge for the people of Gaza.” Israel will be allowed to respond to the accusations on Friday.

In January, judges ordered Israel to do everything possible to prevent death, destruction and other danger. acts of genocide in Gaza, but the panel did not order an end to the military offensive that has ravaged the Palestinian enclave. In a second order issued in March, the court said Israel must take steps to improve the humanitarian situation.

South Africa has so far submitted four requests to the International Court to investigate Israel. It was heard three times.

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced since the fighting began.

The war began with a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which Palestinian militants killed around 1,200 people and took around 250 hostages. Gaza’s health ministry says more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed during the war, without distinguishing between civilians and combatants.

South Africa has initiated proceedings in December 2023 and sees the legal campaign as rooted in the problems at the heart of its identity. Its ruling party, the African National Congress, has long compared Israel’s policies in Gaza and the occupied West Bank to its own history under white-minority apartheid rule, which restricted most blacks to “homelands.” “. Apartheid ended in 1994.

On Sunday, Egypt announced its intention to join the deal. The Foreign Ministry said Israeli military actions “constitute a blatant violation of international law, humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 concerning the protection of civilians in time of war.”

Several countries have also indicated their intention to intervene, but so far only Libya, Nicaragua and Colombia have filed formal requests to do so.

News Source :
Gn world

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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