Hamas Welcomes ICJ’s Demands for Israel to Implement Provisional Measures in Rafah

Is the ICJ's ruling enough for Palestinians? (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Hamas urges the World Court to ‘evolve its decision into a direct order’ for Israel to stop its ‘brutal aggression leading to genocide against unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip.’

The Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, has welcomed the decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in response to South Africa’s urgent request regarding the situation in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. 

The decision “confirmed the necessity of the immediate implementation of the provisional measures ordered by the court on January 26, and the full responsibility of the occupation entity for the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the movement said in a statement on Friday. 

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Hamas urged the court “to evolve its decision into a direct and clear order to stop this brutal aggression leading to genocide against the unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

The World Court said it “notes the most recent developments in the Gaza Strip and Rafah in particular, ‘would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences’,” quoting remarks made by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the General Assembly on February 7.

It described the situation as “perilous” but did not accept South Africa’s request for additional urgent measures, saying it “demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures” ordered last month, “which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, and does not demand the indication of additional provisional measures.”

Over 2,700 killed since Jan 26

Israel on Thursday urged the ICJ  to reject the urgent application by South Africa issued on Tuesday, which called on the Court to consider additional emergency measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza. 

Hamas said more than 2,700 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the court ordered Israel on January 26 to take “all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

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This, the movement said, confirms that Israel “disregards the international judicial system and continues to expand its genocide against civilians,” and that it is “defying all calls warning of the dangers of any military operation in Rafah.

It further called on the UN Security Council to “assume its responsibilities” and “immediately translate the ruling of the ICJ into effective decisions” that oblige Israel to “stop the genocide.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with a ground incursion into Rafah, where more than one million internally displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

“Those who say that under no circumstances should we enter Rafah are basically saying lose the war. Keep Hamas there,” he reportedly said in an interview with an American news network on Sunday.

Fears of ‘A Slaughter’

On Wednesday, the UN emergency relief chief, Martin Griffiths, expressed fears that a ground invasion of Rafah by Israel could lead to a slaughter of civilians.

“I do fear a slaughter of people in Gaza. And the reason why I’m speaking out so clearly about this now is that I think there is a choice being made one way or the other, whether to move military operations into an assault on Rafah,” Griffiths said. 

More than half of Gaza’s population – well over 1 million people – are crammed in Rafah, most having been displaced from other parts of the enclave due to Israel’s ongoing military offensive since October 7.

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Griffiths said they are “staring death in the face: They have little to eat, hardly any access to medical care, nowhere to sleep, nowhere safe to go.”

Death Toll Mounts

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,858 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,677 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(Palestine Chronicle)

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