Israel bombs Rafah despite the ICJ decision



Photo: Associated Press

Israel bombed the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, on Saturday, despite an order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that the state "immediately halt" its military offensive in the southern city, reports Agence France Presse (AFP).

The Hague-based court in the Netherlands, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, has also directed Israel to keep open the border crossing between Rafah and Egypt, which Israel has closed. before sending troops and tanks to launch the military offensive there.

Israel has given no sign that it is preparing to reverse its actions in Rafah, insisting the court was wrong.

Despite the ICJ ruling, Israel carried out attacks in the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning as fighting escalated between the army and the armed wing of Hamas. 

Palestinian witnesses and AFP teams have reported Israeli attacks in Rafah and downtown Deir al-Balah.

"We hope that the court's decision will put pressure on Israel to end this war, because there is nothing else left here," said Oum Mohammad al-Ashqa, a Palestinian woman from Gaza City who moved to Deir al- Balah for AFP. 

According to her, Israel is a state that "considers itself above the law".

In its decision, the ICJ says that Israel "must immediately stop its military offensive and other actions in Rafah which could cause the Palestinian group in Gaza living conditions that could bring about its physical destruction entirely or partially".