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FAKE NEWS: The ICJ Did Not Order Israel To Halt Rafah Operation

Headlines of international media outlets proclaimed on Friday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to halt its operation in Rafah.

However, a closer look at the ruling reveals the headlines to be false. The ruling stated that Israel “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.

In other words, Israel may continue its operation in Rfash as long as they don’t intentionally carry out a “genocide” of the civilian population.

Ynet quoted Israeli officials as saying: “It said genocide is forbidden, and we have no intention of committing genocide. What country would invest so many resources to bring in humanitarian aid, call off attacks and the like, if it intends to commit genocide? We are already doing and will continue to do what the ruling has called for.”

“There is a false narrative that the ICJ ordered a halt to the fighting in Rafah and that is not the case. If the court would have wanted to say anything else, it would have.”

Another distorted aspect of the court’s ruling was its instruction to Israel to allow the opening of the Rafah border crossing, ignoring the fact that Egypt is the one preventing this.

“We are not preventing humanitarian aid from being brought in,” an official said. “This is the fourth time South Africa has asked for a complete halt to the war. The wording of the ruling is not accidental. When we read the ruling, we see a few things stand out and when we read the judges’ words individually, they say the same things. South Africa’s demands are not answered, for the fourth time. Even the South African judge acknowledges that.”

The Israeli officials were asked how Israel agreed that Nawaf Salam, a judge from Lebanon, a country currently involved in the war against Israel, is heading the panel of judges. They responded that any effort to remove him would not have succeeded.

“Right now, Israel is cooperating with the process, because we chose to be a party to the genocide convention which was written in response to the Holocaust. As the Jewish people, that was one of the first conventions Israel joined, without hesitation. But we see what is transpiring in the international judicial system. It has become another UN deliberation with 60 countries talking about apartheid.”

Former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak, who represented Israel in the case at the ICJ, wrote, “This measure requires Israel to halt its military offensive in the Rafah Governate only in so far as is necessary to comply with Israel’s obligations under the genocide convention.”

“Israel is not prevented from carrying out its military operation in the Rafah Governate as long as it fulfills its obligations under the genocide convention. As a result, the measure is a qualified one, which preserves Israel’s right to prevent and repel threats and attacks by Hamas, defend itself and its citizens, and free the hostages.”

Judge Georg Nolte of Germany wrote: “The measure obliging Israel to halt the current military offensive in Rafah is conditioned by the need to prevent ‘conditions of life that could bring about [the] physical destruction in whole or in part’ of the Palestinian group in Gaza.”

Romanian Judge Bogdan Aurescu wrote, “In my view, this measure needs to be interpreted that it indicates as well the halt of the Israeli military offensive to the extent that it ‘may inflict n the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.'”

ICJ Vice President Julia Sebutinde of Uganda wrote, “This measure does not entirely prohibit the Israeli military from operating in Rafah. Instead, it only operates to partially restrict Israel’s offensive in Rafah to the extent it implicates rights under the genocide convention.”

“I reiterate that Israel has the right to defend itself against its enemies, including Hamas, and to continue efforts to rescue its missing hostages. These rights are not incompatible with its obligations under the genocide convention.”

Following the ruling, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told Channel 12 News: “What they are asking us, is not to commit genocide in Rafah. We did not commit genocide and we will not commit genocide.”

“According to international law, we have the right to defend ourselves and the evidence is that the court is not preventing us from continuing to defend ourselves.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

2 Responses

  1. Yeshiva world news headline… apparently you can’t read a simple order either? Or maybe it was worded in a way that was vague. And people misunderstood it?

    LOL: International Court of Justice Orders Israel To Cease IDF Rafah Operation
    May 24, 2024 9:35 am 19 Comments
    Judges at the top United Nations court have ordered Israel to halt its military operation on the southern Gaza city

  2. To BaltimoreMaven. Your interpretation is respected, however the wording is “[i]mmediately 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” (CAPITALIZED for emphasis). And yes, people will interpret it according to his/her knowledge base. What was the wording of the ICJ ruling against Russia? Did you compare the two?

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