*** ----> Israel pounds Rafah after UN court orders halt to military offensive in southern Gaza city | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Israel pounds Rafah after UN court orders halt to military offensive in southern Gaza city

AFP | Rafah  

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Israeli warplanes and artillery pounded Rafah yesterday, as the government dismissed an order by the top UN court to halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city.

At the same time, renewed international efforts were underway aimed at securing a ceasefire in the war sparked by Palestinian group Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel.

An Israeli official said the government had an “intention” to restart stalled negotiations over the coming days.

In a case brought by South Africa alleging the Israeli military operation amounts to “genocide”, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its Rafah offensive, and demanded the release of hostages and the “unhindered provision” of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The Hague-based ICJ, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, also instructed Israel to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, after Israel’s seizure of the Palestinian side earlier this month effectively shut it.


Israel gave no indication it was preparing to change course in Rafah, insisting the court had got it wrong.

The ruling said Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

But National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, in a joint statement with the foreign ministry, said: “Israel has not and will not carry out military operations in the Rafah area that create living conditions that could cause the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population, in whole or in part.”


Hamas welcomed the ruling but criticised the court’s decision to exclude the rest of the Palestinian territory from its order.

Israel carried out strikes throughout the Gaza Strip early yesterday as fighting raged between the army and Palestinian fighters.

Witnesses and AFP teams reported strikes or shelling in Rafah, the central city of Deir al-Balah, and Gaza City and Jabalia refugee camp in the north.