The world reacts to the ICJ’s order to Israel to stop the offensive in Rafah | Israel-Palestine Conflict News

The United Nations’ highest court ordered Israel to “immediately” stop its military attack on Rafah, calling the humanitarian situation in the southern Gaza city, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are sheltered, “disastrous.”

Israel must “immediately stop its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governorate that could inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza living conditions that could lead to its total or partial physical destruction,” the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said. said President Nawaf Salam.

The emergency measures were ordered at the request of South Africa as part of its genocide case against Israel.

The ICJ ordered Israel to report to the court within a month on its progress in implementing the measures ordered by the institution. He also ordered Israel to reopen the Rafah border crossing with Egypt for humanitarian assistance.

Below are some reactions from leaders and organizations around the world:

Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh

“The presidency welcomes the decision issued by the International Court of Justice, which represents an international consensus on the demand to stop the all-out war against Gaza,” Rudeineh said.

Basam Naim, Hamas official

Naim said Hamas welcomed the World Court’s decision “calling on the Zionist occupation forces to end their military aggression against Rafah.”

He added that the group also welcomes the court’s request to allow investigators in the Gaza Strip to investigate “acts of genocide against the Palestinian people and Hamas is committed to cooperating with the investigative committees.”

Naim said Hamas also calls on the UN Security Council to immediately implement the ICJ’s demands.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich

Shortly after the ICJ ruling, Smotrich wrote on the social media platform X: “Those who demand that the State of Israel stop the war, demand that it be declared to cease to exist. “We will not agree to that.”

“We continue to fight for ourselves and for the entire free world. History will judge who supported the Nazis of Hamas and ISIS (ISIL) today,” he added.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid.

“The fact that the court in The Hague did not establish in its ruling the connection between the cessation of fighting in Rafah and the return of the hostages and Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism is a moral collapse and a moral disaster” , Lapid said. .

Benny Gantz, cabinet minister for war

Gantz said Israel “undertook a just and necessary campaign following the brutal massacre of its citizens, the abhorrent sexual violence perpetrated against its women, the kidnapping of its children and the launching of rockets into its cities.”

“The State of Israel is committed to continuing to fight to return its hostages and promise the safety of its citizens – wherever and whenever necessary – including in Rafah,” he added.

Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports, Miki Zohar

“The judges of the High Court in The Hague are invited to come to Gaza and convince Hamas to return our abductees home,” Zohar said in X.

“Until this happens, it is clear that there is no chance of stopping the fighting in Rafah.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

“South Africa welcomes the order issued today by the International Court of Justice. We are seriously concerned that Israel has restricted the entry of necessary levels of aid into Gaza and has systematically attacked aid and aid infrastructure within Gaza.

“This case therefore focuses on ordinary Palestinians in Gaza who now face their seventh month of suffering from collective punishment for something for which they have no individual responsibility.

“South Africa remains concerned that the United Nations Security Council has so far failed to stop human suffering.”

South African official Zane Dangor

Dangor said the court’s ruling “is groundbreaking.”

“This is a de facto call for a ceasefire. “He is ordering the main party in this conflict to end its belligerent action against the people of Palestine,” he said.

“This order, like the others… are binding and Israel must adhere to them.”

Josep Borrell, head of foreign policy of the European Union

Borrell said the EU would have to express its position on the ICJ ruling.

“We will have to choose between our support for international rule of law institutions or our support for Israel,” he said.

Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“Egypt calls on Israel to comply with its legal obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and international humanitarian law, and to implement all provisional measures issued by the ICJ, which are considered legally binding. and executable. , since they are issued by the highest international judicial body.

“Egypt stresses that Israel bears full legal responsibility for the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip as an occupying power, and calls on Israel to end its systematic policies against the Palestinian people of attacks, starvation and siege, in violation of all provisions of international law and international humanitarian law.”

US Senator Lindsay Graham

“As far as I’m concerned, the ICJ can go to hell. It is time to stand up to these so-called international justice organizations associated with the UN. Their anti-Israel bias is overwhelming.

“The ICJ’s decision that Israel should stop operations necessary to destroy four battalions of Hamas murderers and terrorists – who use Palestinians as human shields – is ridiculous.

“This will and should be ignored by Israel.”

Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib

In a post on X, Lahbib said Belgium calls for the immediate implementation of the court decision.

“The violence and human suffering in Gaza must stop. We call for a ceasefire, the release of the hostages and negotiations between two states,” she said.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi

Safadi said the ICJ had once again exposed war crimes in Gaza.

“And once again, the Israeli government reacts with disdain towards international law, refusing to heed the Court’s orders. The SC (Security Council) must assume its responsibility, ending Israel’s impunity and double standards in the application of international law,” he said in a statement on X.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia:

“Saudi Arabia welcomes the decision issued by the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to immediately stop the military offensive or any other action in Rafah, in accordance with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

Turkish Foreign Ministry:

“We welcome the interim decision… ordering Israel to stop its attacks on Rafah in Gaza and immediately open the Rafah border gate to humanitarian aid.

“No country in the world is above the law. We hope that Israel will promptly implement all decisions taken by the Court. To ensure this, we invite the UN Security Council to do its part.”

War crimes prosecutor Reed Brody

Brody said the ICJ has taken a step forward to address the reality on the ground in the Gaza Strip.

“I’m really impressed, first of all, by South Africa’s tenacity and perseverance and its return to the court, and the court has responded almost unanimously,” he told Al Jazeera.

Brody noted that South Africa has been asking since the start of the war in Gaza for an order for Israel to stop its military offensive, but the court had said it could not take such action because Hamas and the Palestinian side were not present in the stand. .

“But that’s what they ultimately decided to do here, and it’s a testament to this court and what it does. Coupled with the ICC prosecutor’s decision (to recommend arrest warrants against senior Israeli officials), it is a real legal double whammy,” he added.

Human rights observer

The international human rights organization said the ICJ rulings show how bad things are in Gaza.

“The International Court of Justice’s order underscores the seriousness of the situation facing Palestinians in Gaza,” said Balkees Jarrah, associate director of the group’s International Justice Program.

“This decision opens the possibility of relief, but only if governments use their influence to pressure Israel to urgently implement the court’s measures.”

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

The US-based civil rights group “applauded” the ICJ rulings.

“While the (US President Joe) Biden administration is the only one that continues to offer full support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza, the international community is increasingly rejecting the killing, forced starvation and ethnic cleansing that the government of extreme Israel’s right is inflicting on the Palestinian population. people,” CAIR said in a statement.

“Israel is clearly trying to make Gaza uninhabitable. We must prevent him from completing this monstrous objective. “President Biden must honor this important ruling by immediately ending all military assistance to Israel’s genocide.”

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Bathe Eide

“I hope that Israel carries out the measures that have been ordered. Respect for the court and its functions, including the authority to order provisional measures, is essential to strengthening international law and the international legal order.”

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