Israel asks World Court to reject request for Rafah emergency orders

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 12:54 PM

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Israel has asked the International Court of Justice to dismiss a request by South Africa to issue additional emergency measures because of Israel’s plan to extend its offensive in Gaza into the city of Rafah.

In documents released on Thursday by the ICJ, also known as the World Court, Israel argued that the emergency measures issued three weeks ago already cover “the situation of hostilities in Gaza as a whole” and the court should reject the South African request.

Israel has said it is planning to expand its ground assaultinto Rafah, where over a million Palestinians have sought refugefrom the offensive that has laid waste to much of the Gaza Stripsince Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Earlier this week South Africa asked the court to issue extra emergency measures to protect Palestinians’ rights in Rafah.

The ICJ last month ordered Israel to take all measureswithin its power to prevent its troops from committing genocideagainst Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa.

Israel has denied all allegations of genocide in connectionwith its war against Islamist armed group Hamas.

It was not clear when the judges will rule on South Africa’s latest request or whether they will call additional hearings to consider it.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)