Home News Israel continues fighting in Rafah despite ICJ order, officials say

Israel continues fighting in Rafah despite ICJ order, officials say


The Israeli military continued its operation in Rafah on Saturday, according to three Israeli officials, a day after the world’s highest court appeared to rule that Orders Israel to ‘immediately’ halt military action The attack in the southern Gaza city came amid growing international outcry over the offensive.

Officials did not disclose specific locations of Israeli military attacks and fighting in the city. One official said Israeli forces continued to advance slowly, but warned that it was too early to tell how Israel would ultimately respond to the court order because military ground operations take time to change direction. The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Palestinian news media reported that Israeli strikes killed one person in central Rafah, and fighting also took place in the city’s eastern suburbs. Attacks also took place in other parts of the region, and the Israeli military confirmed it was also conducting an operation in Jabaliya, northern Gaza.

The International Court of Justice on Friday ordered Israel to halt its military offensive in Rafah and “any other action” that could lead to the total or partial annihilation of the Palestinian population in Rafah. Some of the court’s judges said Israel could still carry out some military operations in Rafah under the terms of the ruling.

The court has few effective means to enforce its orders, but the ruling adds to a series of actions against Israel Damage to its international status.

Immediately after the ruling was announced, the Israeli government said it would continue fighting in Rafah, ignoring growing opposition from international partners who say it has gone too far. In a written response, Israel said its forces “have not and will not” take actions that have led to the destruction of Palestinians in Rafah — effectively saying the court’s ruling had nothing to do with Israel’s offensive.

Israel’s offensive on Rafah has so far displaced more than 800,000 people, most of whom were already displaced from other parts of Gaza and are living in new camps in dire conditions. Meanwhile, Israel continues to bomb other parts of Gaza, with particularly intense fighting in Jabaliya, where Israel believes Hamas is trying to regroup.

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a news conference on Friday that the UN chief is “confident” Israel will “duly comply” with the court’s order. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric later added that countries “have a responsibility to implement and abide by” the court’s ruling.

The court ruling came as officials from Israel, the United States and Qatar, a mediator between Israel and Hamas, gathered in Paris to try to restart ceasefire efforts. Recession hit earlier this monthMainly because Hamas demands a permanent ceasefire, while Israel wants to continue the war after a brief exchange of prisoners.

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