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South Africa Welcomes ICJ Ruling To Halt Rafah Offensive

24.05.2024 19:12

World court also orders Israel to open Rafah border crossing, provide access to investigators.

South Africa on Friday welcomed a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza Strip where it sent forces on May 6.

The order, adopted by the panel of 15 judges in a 13-2 vote, came a week after it was requested by Pretoria as part of its case accusing Israel of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

"This order is ground breaking as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any area of Rafah. South Africa welcomes the ruling made by the court today," Zane Dangor, director-general of the Foreign Ministry, said in a video statement.

Dangor said they also welcome the court's order compelling Israel to grant access to investigators appointed by the UN into Gaza to investigate actions that would be tantamount to a genocide.

"This is important because it allows for independent researchers to go into areas that journalists have been prohibited from ... allows us engaged in the legal action to have independent verified UN experts doing a lot of the investigations," he said, adding they hope the UN Security Council will take note of it.

Dangor said South Africa will be approaching the Security Council to get this provision implemented.

"We need to point out that this order like the others obligated they are binding and Israel has to adhere to them," he said.

The ICJ also ordered Israel to open the Rafah border crossing, provide "unimpeded access" to investigators looking into allegations of genocide, and report back on the progress within one month. -

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