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UN Orders Israel To Halt Military Offensive In Rafah, Gaza

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Israel Strikes Killed 110 In North Gaza Since Sunday - Hamas Health Ministry

Despite a directive from the United Nations’ top court, Israel continued its military operations in Gaza, including the southern city of Rafah.

Naija News reports that the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in a ruling precipitated by a lawsuit filed by South Africa, has demanded Israel “immediately halt” its offensive, which it terms as potentially genocidal against the Palestinian populace in Rafah.

The Hague-based ICJ, which delivers legally binding orders albeit without direct enforcement capabilities, has also urged for the immediate release of hostages held by Palestinian militants and commanded that the Rafah crossing, a critical passage between Egypt and Gaza, remain open.

This crossing had been shut by Israel prior to a significant military escalation involving troops and tanks earlier this month.

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Israel, in a statement from National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi alongside the foreign ministry spokesman, defended its actions, stating that its military operations do not aim to harm the Palestinian civilian population systematically or wholly.

The statement underlined that Israel would not alter its operational strategies in Rafah based on the ICJ’s mandate.

The conflict, ignited by a significant attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7, has seen renewed efforts for a ceasefire, with talks reportedly occurring in Paris.

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Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007 and is backed by Iran, lauded the ICJ’s focus on Rafah but criticized the exclusion of broader Palestinian territories from the court’s directives.

On the ground in Gaza, the situation remains dire, with continued Israeli strikes reported in Rafah and the central city of Deir al-Balah despite the international legal pronouncements.

Residents of Gaza, displaced and beleaguered by the ongoing conflict, expressed scepticism about the impact of the ICJ’s ruling on Israel’s military actions.

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The ICJ’s ruling also includes provisions for unimpeded access to Gaza for UN-mandated investigators to probe the allegations of genocide and for the substantial facilitation of humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing.