Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Israel urges World Court to reject South Africa's Rafah request

Palestinian deaths following Israeli strike   -  
Copyright © africanews
Adel Hana/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


Israel has harshly criticised South Africa’s request to the World Court this week for it to issue additional emergency measures to protect the rights of Palestinian civilians in Rafah.

It accused Pretoria of “representing the interests of Hamas and said it was trying to deny Israel “the fundamental right to defend itself”.

Israel on Thursday asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to dismiss the request, arguing that the emergency measures it court issued three weeks ago already covered the “situation of hostilities in Gaza as a whole”.

Last month, in a case brought by South Africa, the court ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

In a filing to the ICJ on Tuesday, South Africa said there has been a “significant development” since the January ruling, after Israel announced it planned to expand its ground offensive into Rafah.

There has been growing international condemnation of Israel’s planned operation in the southern city, with the United Nations warning it would have catastrophic consequences for Palestinians

Over a million people have fled to Rafah as Israel laid waste to much of the rest of the Palestinian enclave in the over four months of its war against the militant group Hamas.

But despite pressure from foreign governments and aid agencies not to extend ground operations into the city, Israel insists it must push into Rafah to eliminate Hamas battalions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday said he had ordered the military to develop a dual plan to evacuate civilians from the city.

However, it is unclear where such a large number of people, who are pressed up against the border with Egypt and sheltering in makeshift tents, could go.

It is not clear when the ICJ will rule on South Africa's latest request.

View more